Di Stasio leads Canada to Three Medal Night in Lima
Wrestling Canada – LIMA, Peru – Justina Di Stasio, Olivia Di Bacco, and Darthe Capellan each captured medals on the third day of wrestling at the Lima 2019 Pan American Games.
Di Stasio, the 2018 World Champion at 72 kg, defeated Brazil’s Aline Da Silva 2-1 in the 76 kg gold medal match. Da Silva went up by one due to a caution in the first half, but Di Stasio scored on a caution of her own to lead on criteria. A failed challenge in the final seconds secured Di Stasio’s 2-1 victory.
“The game plan was to go out and dictate the match,” said Di Stasio, 26. “Once she got the first caution, I knew if I kept pushing the pace with my hands, I would get on the clock next, I just had to make sure I didn’t make any mistakes defensively and kept looking for an attack the whole time.”
It was the second Pan American Games for Di Stasio, of Burnaby, B.C. At the Toronto 2015 games, Di Stasio captured silver at 75 kg.
“I haven’t medaled in this weight-class in a long time. I’m not going to worlds this year so I really wanted to win gold. I know now that I’m big enough and strong enough to compete here.”
Di Bacco, of Orillia, Ont., was defeated by fall in the 68 kg gold medal match against USA’s Tamyra Mensah.
“A pin is a frustrating way to end it because you feel like you weren’t able to showcase the areas that you’ve improved in, and go the distance with somebody who is so dominant right now in our weight class,” said Di Bacco, 27.
“Every time I step on the mat against Tamyra I feel like I’m able to take something away and something to learn and bring back to my training. Obviously you want that top spot, but I’m very proud to be on the podium.”
Capellan got the men their first medal of the games with a bronze at 57 kg. Capellan, of Surrey, B.C., beat Colombia’s Oscar Tigreros in a dramatic 8-7 decision.
“This medal basically just shows that my hard work and training all year has paid off.”
Lima 2019 action resumes tomorrow with the final day of competition featuring Jevon Balfour (74 kg), Alex Moore (86 kg), Jordie Steen (97 kg), and Korey Jarvis (125 kg) competing for Canada.
Complete results are available here.