Cuba hadn’t lost a match all day.
Americans Andrew Bisek and Chas Betts were determined to change that.
Bisek delivered by scoring a turn in the final 30 seconds to earn a dramatic 0-1, 1-0, 2-0 win over Cuba’s Alexi Bell Caballero in the Pan American Championships finals at 74 kg/163 lbs.
Betts followed suit by knocking off past World silver and bronze medalist Pablo Shorey Hernandez of Cuba 2-0, 2-1 in the finals at 84 kg/185 lbs. Betts scored a first-period turn before Hernandez was penalized for a second-period caution in par terre.
Bisek and Betts led the U.S. Greco-Roman team that won seven medals as the three-day event kicked off on Friday at the U.S. Olympic Training Center.
The U.S. went a perfect 6-0 in the medal round.
Bisek, a 2011 U.S. World Team member, won his first Pan Am Championships title. Bisek had lost to the Cuban earlier this month at the Granma Cup in Havana.
“I had wrestled him before and that helped,” Bisek said.
“I stayed in better position and I was able to be effective. I saw an opening and was able to get a lift at the end. It was an exciting match.”
Betts, a 2009 U.S. World Team member, also won his first Pan American Championships title. He was second in this event in 2008.
“The plan was to burn him on his feet as hard as I can and try to take away his strengths which is par terre,”
Betts said. “He’s a big lifter with a good gut wrench. Pushing him as hard as I did worked out for me.”
Cuba won the team title after crowning five champions on Friday. The U.S. finished second.
74 kg/163 lbs.
Gold – Andrew Bisek (USA)
Silver – Alexei Bell Caballero (Cuba)
Bronze – Maximiliano Prudenzano (Argentina)
Bronze – Jose Luillys Perez (Venezuela)
84 kg/185 lbs.
Gold – Chas Betts (USA)
Silver – Pablo Shorey Hernandez (Cuba)
Bronze – Jose Arias (Dominican Republic)
Bronze – Christian Mosquera (Colombia)