June 22nd, 2024

Beach volleyball duo Humana-Paredes, Wilkerson to play for Pan Am Games gold

By The Canadian Press on October 26, 2023.

Canada's Brandie Wilkerson, left, and Melissa Humana-Paredes, celebrate after defeating Argentina in a women's beach volleyball semifinal match at the Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile, Thursday, Oct. 26, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Esteban Felix

SANTIAGO, Chile – The Canadian beach volleyball duo of Melissa Humana-Paredes and Brandie Wilkerson have advanced to the women’s gold-medal match at the Pan American Games.

Canada’s flagbearers at the opening ceremonies in Santiago, Chile, swept Argentina’s Ana Maria Gallay and Gabriela Fernanda Pereyra 2-0 (21-15, 21-15) in the semifinal.

The Toronto athletes awaited the outcome of a later semifinal between Brazil and the U.S. to know their opponent for the championship game.

In the ring, Tammara Thibeault earned a berth at next year’s Paris Olympics with a win over Citlalli Vanessa Ortiz of Mexico by unanimous decision in Thursday’s semifinal.

The top two boxers in each weight class qualified for the 2024 Games.

The 26-year-old from Shawinigan, Que., meets Panama’s Atheyna Bylon for Pan Am Games middleweight gold Friday in a rematch of their 2022 world championship final.

“I still have a fight tomorrow. Enjoy this for a little bit. Recover, rest and then get back on it tomorrow,” Thibeault said.

Victoria’s Bryan Colwell (men’s 92 kg), Montreal’s Junior Petanqui (men’s 71 kg), Charlie Cavanagh of Saint John, N.B. (women’s 66 kg) and McKenzie Wright of Oakville, Ont., (women’s 50 kg) just missed out on an Olympic berth. They each earned a bronze medal for a semifinal loss.

Bronze-medal bouts aren’t fought at the Pan Am Games.

In shooting, Toronto’s Tugrul Ozer won gold in the men’s 10, air pistol with a Pan Am Games record score of 240.5 points. His result secured a berth for Canada at the 2024 Olympics.

Ozer battled American James Hall throughout the event before taking the lead for good in the fifth of nine series.

Hall finished second with 239.3 points, followed by Brazil’s Felipe Wu with 215.3.

In other results, Samuel Murray of Baie-Comeau, Que., and Coby Iwaasa of Lethbridge, Alta., took silver in men’s team racquetball after falling 2-0 to Bolivia, and Calgary’s Kelly Fitzsimmons and Vancouver’s Devan Wiebe earned bronze in the modern pentathlon relay.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 26, 2023.

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