Photo of Jamel Johnson on the podium after winning gold at 72 kg. Photo by Tony Rotundo.
Official release courtesy of Taylor Miller/USA Wrestling.
The USA collected two gold medals and four silver medals to wrap up the first day of Greco-Roman competition at the 2021 Pan American Championships in Guatemala City, Guatemala.
Winning gold medals tonight were Marines athletes Xavier Johnson (67 kg) and Jamel Johnson (72 kg).
Xavier Johnson, an Olympic Trials runner-up and Senior Nationals champion, dominated his way to gold today, giving the fans a show with multiple five-point throws throughout the competition. In the finals, he finished off Enyer Feliciano of the Dominican Republic in just 1:12, scoring a two-pointer, followed by a lift for four points and finally a huge throw for five to win 11-0, securing his first international gold medal. Overall, Xavier went 4-0, outscoring his competition 38-3.
Xavier’s Marines teammate Jamel Johnson also picked up a gold medal on Thursday, winning the 72 kg bracket. Getting the call to compete just last week, Jamel overcame a short turnaround as well as a second-round injury earlier in the day. Competing in a four-man round-robin bracket, he went 3-0. In the finals, he faced 2018 Pan Am silver medalist Gerardo Oliva Montes of Peru, who got out to a quick 5-0 lead with an early four-pointer. However, Jamel stormed back with a four-point throw near the edge to close the gap. In the second period, he added another four-pointer to take lead and held on for an 8-5 victory.
Four Americans earned silver medals, including Ildar Hafizov (60 kg), Randon Miranda (63 kg), Braxton Amos (97 kg) and Donny Longedyke (130 kg).
At 60 kg, Tokyo Olympian Ildar Hafizov fell in his finals bout to returning Pan American champion Dicther Toro Castaneda of Colombia, 7-3. Toro racked up a quick five points in the first period with a passivity point and two gut wrenches on top in par terre. In the second period, Hafizov had the same opportunity, collecting one gut wrench, but in the process of a lift, Hafizov gave up exposure, and Toro held on for a 7-3 win.
2021 Senior Nationals champion Randon Miranda had a tough result in the finals at 63 kg, taking on two-time Pan American Games champion Andres Montano Arroyo of Ecuador for the second time today. The two met this morning in pool action with Montano winning 5-0. This time around, Miranda went up 6-0 early in the second period. Despite having two takedowns on the board, Miranda was dinged with passivity, where Montano scored a gut wrench and four pointer. There were back-to-back caution-and-two calls against Miranda that were eventually wiped after video reviews. Ultimately, Miranda fell, 7-6, ending his tournament with a silver medal.
Olympic Trials runner-up Braxton Amos, who is slated to represent the USA at the Junior World Championships in both Greco-Roman and freestyle this summer, put together an impressive international senior-level debut but fell just short of the top of the podium. Wrestling in a Nordic-style bracket at 97 kg, Amos went 3-1 in the first session, losing only to Kevin Mejia Castillo of Honduras, who is a 2011 Cadet World bronze medalist and multiple-time Pan Am finalist. Because of the type of bracket, the two met up once again in the finals, where Mejia repeated his efforts for a 9-0 win over Amos.
U.S. Open All-American Donny Longendyke went 3-1 on the day at 130 kg. In the gold-medal match, Longendyke faced Leo Santana Heredia of the Dominican Republic, who was a bronze medalist at the 2020 continental championships. It was a tightly contested match, but it was Sanatana who scored the only points in the bout with a passivity point and later a takedown for a 3-0 win. This was Longendyke’s first Pan American tournament.
Action continues tomorrow with the remaining Greco-Roman weights (77 kg, 82 kg, 87 kg) and the start of women’s wrestling (55 kg, 59 kg, 65 kg, 72 kg). Competition begins at 12 p.m. ET live on FloWrestling.
2021 SENIOR PAN AMERICAN CHAMPIONSHIPS
Guatemala City, Guatemala | May 27-30
U.S. Greco-Roman results
60kg: Ildar Hafizov (U.S. Army WCAP) – SILVER
WIN Joshua Alfonso Medina (Peru), 9-0
WIN Marat Garipov (Brazil), 10-1
LOSS Ditcher Toro Castaneda (Colombia), 7-3
63kg: Randon Miranda (Rise RTC) – SILVER
WIN Victor Mena Vergel (Colombia), 8-0
WIN Juan Rodriguez Jovel (El Salvador), 10-0
LOSS Andres Montano Arroyo (Ecuador), 5-0
WIN Emerson Felipe Ordonez (Guatemala), 11-2
LOSS Andres Montano Arroyo (Ecuador), 7-6
67kg: Xavier Johnson (U.S. Marines) – GOLD
WIN Daniel Coles (Canada), 9-0
WIN Nilton Soto Garcia (Peru), 7-3
WIN Calebe Correa Ferreira (Brazil), 11-0
WIN Enyer Feliciano (Dominican Republic), 11-0
72kg: Jamel Johnson (U.S. Marines) – GOLD
WIN Juan Ruiz Lugo (Mexico), 9-0
WIN Carlos Fuentes Peralta (Guatemala), 7-3
WIN Gerardo Oliva Montes (Peru), 8-5
97 kg: Braxton Amos (Wisconsin RTC) – SILVER
WIN Rafael Daniel Escamilla Sanchez (El Salvador), 8-0
WIN Santiago Osorio (Colombia), 11-0
LOSS Kevin Mejia Castillo (Honduras), 9-0
WIN Igor Alves de Queiroz (Brazil), 3-0
LOSS Kevin Mejia Castillo (Honduras), 9-0
130kg: Donny Longendyke (Minnesota Storm) – SILVER
WIN Luis Roman Barrios (Mexico), 5-2
WIN Catriel Pehuen Muriel (Argentina), 8-4
WIN Isaque Medeiros Conserva (Brazil), 6-1
LOSS Leo Santana Heredia (Dominican Republic), 3-0