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Byers, Chun win titles to qualify weight classes for Olympics at FILA Pan American Qualifier



Clarissa Chun outscored her three opponents by a combined 43-3 margin to win a title on Saturday. Larry Slater photo.

KISSIMMEE, Fla. – It was a position World champions Dremiel Byers and Clarissa Chun didn’t want to be in.

Having to compete in the FILA Pan American Olympic Qualifying Tournament.

But the pair of 2008 U.S. Olympians stepped up and delivered to qualify their weight classes for the Olympics on Saturday at the Silver Spurs Arena.

Byers and Chun won titles by each winning three matches on Saturday.

Byers swept Chile’s Andres Ayub Valenzuela 2-0, 2-0 in the Greco-Roman finals at 120 kg/264.5 lbs. Byers did not allow a point in the tournament.

“I came out and did what I had to do,” Byers said. “I didn’t try anything fancy. I just stuck to the basics and got it done.”

Chun swept Argentina’s Patricia Bermudez 8-1, 6-0 in the women’s freestyle finals at 48 kg/105.5 lbs. Chun outscored her three opponents by a combined 43-3 margin on Saturday.

“I felt pretty good,” Chun said. “I got my offense going and I didn’t hesitate. I just have to wrestle my match and wrestle the way I know how.”

The top two finishers at each weight class qualified their countries for the 2012 Olympic Games, set for this August in London, England. There are no true second-place matches, so the two wrestlers that advanced to the finals qualified their countries for the Olympics.

The U.S. has now qualified for the Olympics in six of seven Greco-Roman weight classes, and all four women’s freestyle divisions.

Brandon Escobar of Honduras qualified his country for the Olympics in freestyle at 55 kg/121 lbs. in freestyle. Escobar was a two-time state high school placewinner in New York. Escobar fell to David Tremblay of Canada in the finals.

Americans Shawn Bunch and Brent Metcalf are scheduled to compete in freestyle on Sunday. Both are past World Team members. Bunch will compete at 60 kg/132 lbs. and Metcalf at 66 kg/145.5 lbs. The U.S. has already qualified for the Olympics in five of seven freestyle classes.

That gives the U.S. 15 qualified weight classes overall for the Olympics heading into Sunday’s competition.

Wrestling is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. Eastern Time on Sunday. The session will run straight through until the finals are completed.

Two more Olympic Games qualifiers will be held after the Pan American qualifier. The first will be in Taiyuan, China on April 27-29 and the second in Helsinki, Finland on May 4-6.

MEDAL WINNERS

Greco-Roman

120 kg/264.5 lbs.
Gold – Dremiel Byers (USA)
Silver – Andres Ayub Valenzuela (Chile)
Bronze – Ramon Garcia (Dominican Republic)
Bronze – Antoine Abou Jaoude (Brazil)

Women’s freestyle

48 kg/105.5 lbs.
Gold – Clarissa Chun (USA)
Silver – Patricia Bermudez (Argentina)
Bronze – Mayelis Caripa Castillo (Venezuela)
Bronze – Katiuska Toaza (Ecuador)

55 kg/121 lbs.
Gold – Marcia Andrades (Venezuela)
Silver – Lissette Antes (Ecuador)
Bronze – Joice Souza (Brazil)
Bronze – Alma Jane Valencia (Mexico)

63 kg/138.75 lbs.
Gold – Martine Dugrenier (Canada)
Silver – Katerina Vidiaux (Cuba)
Bronze – Luz Clara Vazquez (Argentina)
Bronze – Sandra Roa (Colombia)

72 kg/158.5 lbs.
Gold – Leah Callahan (Canada)
Silver – Ana Betancur (Colombia)
Bronze – Diana Miranda (Mexico)
Bronze – Lisset Hechevarria (Cuba)

Freestyle

55 kg/121 lbs.
Gold – David Tremblay (Canada)
Silver – Brandon Escobar (Honduras)
Bronze – Yerzon Hernandez (Colombia)
Bronze – Luis Orantes (Guatemala)

FINALS RESULTS

Greco-Roman

120 kg/264.5 lbs.
Dremiel Byers (USA) dec. Andres Ayub Valenzuela (Chile), 2-0, 2-0

Women’s freestyle

48 kg/105.5 lbs.
Clarissa Chun (USA) dec. Patricia Bermudez (Argentina), 8-1, 6-0

55 kg/121 lbs.
Marcia Andrades (Venezuela) won by forfeit over Lissette Antes (Ecuador)

63 kg/138.75 lbs.
Martine Dugrenier (Canada) won by forfeit over Katerina Vidiaux (Cuba)

72 kg/158.5 lbs.
Leah Callahan (Canada) pinned Ana Betancur (Colombia), 1-0, 0:21

Freestyle

55 kg/121 lbs.
David Tremblay (Canada) dec. Brandon Escobar (Honduras), 4-0, 7-0

U.S. RESULTS

Greco-Roman

120 kg/264.5 lbs. – Dremiel Byers, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army) – 1st
WIN Sunny Dhinsa (Canada), 1-0, 3-0
WIN Ramon Garcia (Dominican Republic), 2-0, 1-0
WIN Andres Ayub Valenzuela (Chile), 2-0, 2-0

Women’s freestyle

48 kg/105.5 lbs. – Clarissa Chun, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids) – 1st
WIN Katiuska Toaza (Ecuador), 7-0, 7-0
WIN Yasmin Martinez Leon (Mexico), 8-2, 7-0
WIN Patricia Bermudez (Argentina), 8-1, 6-0
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