Justina Di Stasio after capturing the women’s 75kg freestyle title at the Pan Am Games on July 17, 2015.
Jasmine Mian, Samantha Stewart and Justina Di Stasio found gold, as they led Canada’s wrestling team to ten medals at the Pan American Championships in Frisco, USA over the weekend.
Rio 2016 bound wrestler Mian – who usually wrestles in the 48kg category – won the first two round of the 53kg competition, defeating Vicmarie Requena Tirado from Puerto Rico 11-0, before beating Michaela Hutchison of the United States 6-0.
The Canadian faced a much closer semifinal match, winning 4-2 against Leidy Cifuentes Carranza of Colombia. Mian’s toughest feat came in the final where she faced 2014 Pan American champion Luisa Valverde Melendres from Ecuador. The Canadian had a slow start, but came back to win by fall 4-4 to earn her first continental title.
Related: Mian wrestles to bronze in Ukraine
Stewart who finished eighth at this competition last year, easily won they first two rounds of the 55 kg competition defeating both Sheykaliz Cintron Martinez of Puerto Rico and Betzabeth Arguello Villegas of Venezuela 10-0. The Canadian was paired up with 2015 Pan Am medallist Giulia Rodrigues from Brazil, who she ultimately beat by injury default.
2016 Pan-American Champion! First time on the top of the podium getting to sing the Canadian national anthem at an international competition!! #TeamCanada #UWW #panams #panamchampionships #wrestling #wrestlingcanada #champ #gold #golden #goldmedal #proud #frisco #texas #girlswithmuscle #girlswholift
Di Stasio, who went into the competition looking to defend her 75 kg Pan Am title, took the first round over Diana Miranda Gonzalez of Mexico 8-0. Next up, the Canadian beat the 2014 world runner-up Aline Ferreira of Brazil 5-2. With one win separating her from the gold medal, Di Stasio defeated Colombian Andrea Olaya Gutierrez 2-0 to claim the title.
Related: Di Stasio wins silver at TO2015
Natasha Kramble (48 kg) and Breanne Graham (63 kg) also brought home medals for Canada. Kramble fought to victories, which left her opponents scoreless. The Canadian faced Clarissa Chun from the United States in the final falling 4-8 to win silver. After losing to Laid Nunes De Oliveria of Brazil 1-3, Graham headed to the repechage where she defeated Saidy Chavez Figueroa of Honduras 11-0.
The Canadians who only had five athletes in the women’s competition scored 47 points to finish second in the overall standing behind the United States (67) and head of Cuba (41).
On the men’s side, Darthe Capellan led the freestyle wrestling team, after winning silver in the 57 kg category. The Canadian defeated Honduran Brandon Escobar Amador 8-0 to advance to the gold medal match, where he faced Sam Hazwinkel of the United States who won 7-5. Jake Hergenhein (61 kg), Dillon Williams (65 kg), Ilya Abelev (74 kg) and Ali Al-Rekabi (97 kg) all brought home bronze in their respective weight classes, bringing Canada’s medal haul to ten.
Next up, wrestlers will head back to Frisco to compete in the Pan American Olympic qualifying event, where a first or second place finish will secure a spot for Canada at Rio 2016.