Canadian boxer Thibeault claims Pan American Games gold
SANTIAGO, Chile — Canadian boxer Tammara Thibeault accomplished her two missions at the Pan American Games.
The 26-year-old from Shawinigan, Que., won gold in women's middleweight and also qualified for next year's Olympic Games in Paris.
"It means the world," Thibeault said. "Out of all the tournaments I've been to, I've been able to capture gold and I was missing Pan Ams. Now missing the Olympics, but hopefully we're on the right path and that's what we're going to get.
"I'm very proud of myself, very proud of my team. I couldn't have done it alone."
Thibeaut defeated Panama's Atheyna Bylon by unanimous decision Friday in a rematch of their 2022 world championship final, which Thibeault also won.
"We did know each other pretty well. She's s tricky boxy to fight. She's skilled. She's a little rough," Thibeault said. "I was a little disappointed in my performance today. I pulled off the win, yeah, but I could have boxed better.
"I would have cleaned it up a little bit, use straighter punches, less holding, work a little bit more on the inside, be smarter tactically and not let it get so messy and so close."
The Canadian qualified for Paris with her semifinal victory the previous day. The top two fighters in most weight classes in Santiago, Chile, punched their tickets to Paris.
Thibeault will box for Canada at an Olympic Games a second time after reaching the quarterfinals in Tokyo two years ago.
Her bronze medal at the 2019 Pan Am Games in Lima, Peru, was upgraded to silver a year later because of a doping violation by an opponent.
Wyatt Sanford of Kennetcook, N.S., also won gold Friday with a unanimous 5-0 decision over Mexico's Miguel Angel Martinez Rodriguez in the men's light welterweight title bout.
Sanford also qualified for Paris.
Canada won a cycling gold medal in men's team pursuit on Friday.
The Canadian team of Carson Mattern of Ancaster, Ont., Vancouver's Campbell Parrish, Michael Foley of Milton, Ont., and Vancouver's Sean Richardson finished in a time of three minutes 53.593 seconds to beat Colombia by nearly nine seconds in the final.
"It’s been an overwhelmingly positive experience for me. I’ve been to a few World Championships and other events and the vibe is unmatched here," said Mattern, who was 2022 junior track world champion in the men's individual pursuit and omnium. "Just being around all the best athletes from our country as well as others uplifts us to do the best and represent Canada the best we can."
Vancouver's Rebecca Marino will face off against Argentina's Lourdes Carle in the women's tennis semifinal on Saturday.
Marino, seeded second in the competition, edged Yuliana Lizarazo of Colombia in three sets (7-5, 4-6, 6-4) in a hard-fought quarterfinal battle on Friday.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 27, 2023.
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