Former University of Iowa wrestler, and current two-time 57kg (125.5 lbs) World Team member Tony Ramos was able to claim silver this past weekend in Frisco, Texas at the Pan American Olympic Qualifier. Ramos posted two consectutive victories before he was knocked off by a familiar foe in the finals.
With 2016 being an Olympic year, not all countries are given an automatic berth to the World (or in this case the Olympic) tournament. Countries from the Pan American region who did not qualify their weight at the World Championships – a top six finish – could send wrestlers to the Pan American Olympic Qualifier. Wrestlers placing in the top two of this event would qualify their country’s weight for the Olympic Games in Rio.
With that on the line Ramos came out and got a first round victory against Jerfferson Figueroa of Equador, getting a pin in 25 seconds. Ramos followed that with a technical fall victory 13-2, against Pedro Rodriguez of Venezuela in the semifinals. In the finals Cuba’s Yowlys Bonne Rodriguez continued his stranglehold in his series against Ramos, winning 10-0.
Former University of Iowa wrestler Brent Metcalf also competed this weekend at 65kg (143 lbs) for USA, but dropped his first round match with Puerto Rico’s Franklin Gomez 7-9. In the previous meeting between the two Metcalf defeated Gomez in the 2015 Pan American Games semifinals, 10-8. Metcalf did however bounce back from the loss to take bronze, winning 3-0 over Colombia’s Hernan Ipuz.
In addition to Ramos qualifying his weight for the Olympic Games, heavyweight Tervel Dlagnev took home gold at 125kg (275 lbs) to give USA four out of six weights qualified for Rio. 57kg and 125kg join 74kg (163 kg) and 97kg (213 lbs), which were qualified when Jordan Burroughs and Kyle Snyder won World titles at the respective weights in 2015. That leaves just 65kg and 86kg (189 lbs) left for USA to qualify.
USA will have two more chances to qualify their remaining two weights, with the first step being a last chance qualifier held in Mongolia on April 22-24th.
Men’s freestyle medal match pairings
57 kilos/125.5 lbs.
Gold medal – Yowlys Bonne Rodriguez (Cuba) tech fall Tony Ramos (USA), 10-0
Bronze medal – Pedro Mejias Rodriguez (Venezuela) dec. Jefferson Figueroa (Ecuador), 8-0
Bronze medal – Wber Cuero Munoz (Colombia) dec. Agustin Destribats (Argentina), 8-0
65 kilos/143 lbs
Gold medal – Alejandro Valdes Tobier (Cuba) def. Franklin Gomez (PUR), 8-3
Bronze medal – Brent Metcalf (USA) inj. def. Hernan Guzman Ipuz (Colombia), 0:28
Bronze medal – Haislan Garcia (Canada) tech fall Jeffry Avila (Dominican Republican), 10-0