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Betterman, Provisor win silver medals in Pan Am Games Greco-Roman wrestling

Ben Provisor of the USA locks up Jorgisbell Alvarez of Cuba in the 74 kg Greco-Roman finals at the Pan American Games. Robbert Wijtman photo

GUADALAJARA, Mexico – Two U.S. Greco-Roman wrestlers claimed silver medals at the Pan American Games on Friday night at the CODE II Gymnasium, Joe Betterman (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids) at 60 kg and Ben Provisor (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids) at 74 kg.

Betterman was defeated by Luis Liendo of Venezuela in the finals, 2-0, 1-0. Liendo was able to turn Betterman from the par terre position in the first period. Betterman was unable to turn Liendo in par terre in the second period.

This was a rematch of the first round of the 2011 World Championships, when Liendo defeated Betterman, 3-0, 1-0. Liendo went on to place fifth in the World Championships.

Liendo now has won three Pan American Games medals, one of each kind, with a gold in 2011, a silver in 2003 and a bronze in 2007.

Betterman opened with victory over Manuel Lopez of Mexico, 1-0, 2-1, then stopped Jansel Ramirez of the Dominican Republic, 3-0, 1-0 in the semifinals.

“The tournament was good. I worked some new things. Liendo is a good wrestler. I am closing the gap on him. He didn’t wrestle me, didn’t do any attempts. I kept pushing him and he ran a little bit. I have to take my opportunity to take him down,” said Betterman.

Provisor was defeated by Jorgisbell Alvarez of Cuba in the finals match, 0-1, 3-2, 0-2.

Alvarez lifted Provisor for a point in the first period. Provisor scored a takedown and a high gutwrench turn to win the second period. In the deciding third period, in the par terre position, Alvarez scored a point on a lift. Provisor protested the call, but the officials scored it the same way. Alvarez received a point for the unsuccessful protest.

“I don’t want to ever go to the protest,” said Provisor of the third period call. “I let him get that lift and let him get too far on it. I didn’t think I went over on it. They gave him one point, so I lost that call. That was the match. What can you do now?”

Provisor, a 2011 U.S. Open champion, beat Elton Brown of Panama, then Hansel Mercedes of the Dominican Republic, by identical 1-0, 1-0 scores.

Pete Gounaridis (Leominster, Mass./Sunkist Kids) placed fifth at 96 kg, after losing his bronze medal match to Erwin Caraballo of Venezuela, 0-2, 0-1.

“He was a tough guy. He was very strong. I should have stuck to the game plan when Coach Fraser told me to try to wear him out. I didn’t listen to him in the first period. In the second period, I did the game plan and it worked. He couldn’t score on me. I goofed up. This is not the place to goof up,” said Gounaridis.

Gounaridis beat Joel Lopez of Mexico, 1-0, 2-0, then lost in the semifinals to 2008 Pan American Championships champion Yunior Estrada of Cuba, 0-3, 0-1.

The U.S. finished with three medals in Greco-Roman tournament, with Glenn Garrison’s bronze at 66 kg on Thursday.

“The bottom line is that this hurts as a team,” said National Greco-Roman Coach Steve Fraser. “We got our butts whooped. Cuba won six of the seven weight classes. The USA beat the Cubans at the last Pan Am Games. Leaving this place with three medals, I don’t know what to say. I am proud of the guy’s effort, but we have got to get better.”

At Guadalajara, Mexico, Oct. 21

Greco-Roman results

60 kg/132 lbs.
Gold - Luis Liendo (Venezuela)
Silver - Joe Betterman (USA)
Bronze - Hanser Meoque Lugones (Cuba)
Bronze - (Dominican Republic)
5th - Yesid Meneses Grajales (Colombia)
5th - Manuel Lopez Salcero (Mexico)
7th - German Diaz Maldonado
8th - Diego Ribeiro Romanelli (Brazil)

74 kg/163 lbs.
Gold - Jorgisbell Alvarez Hernandez (Cuba)
Silver – Ben Provisor (USA)
Bronze - Juan Angel Escobar (Mexico)
Bronze - Hansel Mercedes Martinez (Dominican Republic)
5th - Jose Escobar (Colombia)
5th - Elton Brown (Panama)
7th - Sixto Barrera Ochoa (Peru)]
8th - Otoniel Perez Semprit (Puerto Rico)

96 kg/211.5 lbs.
Gold - Yunior Estrada Falcon (Cuba)
Silver - Raul Andres Angulo (Colombia)
Bronze - Yuri Maier (Argentina)
Bronze - Erwin Caraballo Cabrera (Venezuela)
5th - Randy Lambert Martinez (Honduras)
5th – Pete Gounaridis (USA)
7th - Korey Jarvis (Canada)
8th - Joel Lopez Villalobos (Mexico)

U.S. Greco-Roman performances

60 kg/132 lbs. – Joe Betterman, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids), 2nd
WIN Manuel Lopez (Mexico), 1-0, 2-1
WIN Jansel Ramirez (Dominican Republic), 3-0, 1-0
LOSS Luis Liendo (Venezuela), 0-2, 0-1

74 kg/163 lbs. – Ben Provisor, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids), 2nd
WIN Elton Brown (Panama), 1-0, 1-0
WIN Hansel Mercedes (Dominican Republic), 1-0, 1-0
LOSS Jorgisbell Alvarez (Cuba), 0-1, 3-2, 0-2

96 kg/211.5 lbs. – Pete Gounaridis, Leominster, Mass. (Sunkist Kids), 5th
WIN Joel Lopez (Mexico), 1-0, 2-0
LOSS Yunior Estrada (Cuba), 0-3, 0-1
LOSS Erwin Caraballo (Venezuela), 0-2, 0-1
Untitled Document
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