The Pan-American Championships are headed to the beautiful Mexican seaport city of Acapulco next week, May 5-8. The red-hot entry list features 285 athletes from 20 different nations – including nine champions from last year’s Guatemala City Pan-Am Championships.
The stacked women’s wrestling side of the event will feature returning champs Sarah HILDEBRANDT (USA), Jacarra WINCHESTER (USA), Giullia RODRIGUES PENALBER DE OLIVEIRA (BRA) and Kayla MIRACLE (USA). Oslo world champion Helen MAROULIS (USA) and world bronze medalists Samantha STEWART (CAN) and Forrest MOLINARI (USA) will also in action.
Outside of the established senior-level talent, rising stars and 2021 U23 world champions Lucia YEPEZ GUZMAN (ECU) and Ana Paula GODINEZ GONZALEZ (CAN) are looking to make some noise on the senior level. They are entered into the competition at 55kg and 62kg, respectively.
In Greco-Roman, Benjamin PROVISOR (USA), Kevin MEJIA CASTILLO (HON) and Leo Dalis SANTANA HEREDIA (DOM) are the trio of returning champs heading to Mexico.
Despite Cuba sitting out some of their top-tier talent on their Greco-Roman squad, superstars Ismael BORRERO MOLINA (CUB) and Oscar PINO HINDS (CUB) are planning to return to the mat in Mexico.
Borrero, the two-time world champion and Rio Olympic gold medalist, will be lacing his boots up for the first time since the Tokyo Olympic Games. After dominating his way gold at the 2019 World Championships, the Cuban was favored to win gold at the Tokyo Olympics. But after battling COVID twice, Borrero lacked his ’19 strength and conditioning and failed to medal in Japan.
Pino Hinds, the ’19 world runner-up, will be jumping back into the Cuban lineup after taking a bench seat due to the return of four-time Olympic champion Mijain LOPEZ (CUB).
Headliners Kyle DAKE (USA) and Kyle SNYDER (USA) round out the list of last year’s gold medalists heading to Mexico.
Dake, the Tokyo Olympic bronze medalist, is set to return to action for the first time since winning his third consecutive world title. He’ll compete at the Olympic weight of 74kg.
Snyder, the seven-time world and Olympic medalist, will step on the mat for the third time this season. He opened the year with a gold at the Ivan Yariguin. He’ll wrestle at 97kg. He defeated J’den COX (USA), who’ll be in USA’s lineup at 92kg, in a best-two-of-three series, two-matches-to-none.
Other freestyle guys to pay attention to are reigning world champions Thomas GILMAN (USA) and Jordan BURROUGHS (USA) Gilman will wrestle at the Olympic weight of 57kg, while Burroughs and Cox will wrestle at the non-Olympic weights of 79kg and 92kg, respectively.