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12 finalists and two golds – Mexico brings the heat as Beach Wrestling World Series opener comes to boil in Acapulco

March 04, 2024
Mexico 2024
With 12 Mexican wrestlers in the finals alongside three Paris 2024 qualifiers, the crowd was going ‘loco’ down in Acapulco as the opening leg of the 2024 Beach Wrestling World Series came to a thrilling climax. In the scorching Mexican sun, the kings and queens of the first World Series event on Central American sands were coronated on March 3.

When the sand finally settled, there were first-time Beach Wrestling World Series golds for the hosts Mexico as well as Guatemala, Venezuela and Argentina, and a return to the top step of the podium for Colombia and the USA, which showcases the growth of the sport around the world.

In the women’s 50kg Mariana DIAZ (MEX) had caught eyes on day 1, and her fine form continued in her final match of the group as she secured the gold with 4 wins from 4. Panama’s Yorlenis MORAN had lost out to Diaz on the opening day, but she took home the silver as she picked up 2 wins to give her 3 wins overall. Maia CABRERA (ARG) took bronze as she bounced back from 2 opening-day defeats to win both her other group matches.

There was more delight from the home crowd in the women’s 60kg division having already seen Diaz take 50kg gold earlier when Susana LOZANO came out on top of Paris 2024 qualifier Betzabeth ARGUELLO from Venezuela with a 3-0 win in just over 2 minutes. Arguello had beaten the highly tipped 2023 Series silver medallist Anastasiya KRAVCHENKO (UKR) in the semi-final. The Ukrainian dusted herself down to take home the bronze with a 1-3 victory over Mexico’s Arely NOVELO. Kravchenko, the only European athlete of the tournament, also took home the trophy in the women’s top technique competition; a prize that is voted for by the fans via the official Instagram channel.

Venezuela’s Astrid MONTERO had made a strong start on the opening day, and she claimed Venezuela’s first ever gold when she completed a clean sweep of her group with victory over Alejandra RIVERA (MEX). Nicoll PARRADO from Colombia picked up her second win of the series to take silver by beating Debanhi TAPIA (MEX) 1-0 in a tight bout that went the distance.

Tatiana RENTERIA (COL) added a second +70kg Beach Wrestling World Series gold to her medal cabinet as the winner of the opening leg of the 2023 edition in Buenos Aires. The Colombian repeated her opening leg victory in 2024. This ended a couple of fine weeks for the Paris Olympics qualifier who also took silver in the Pan American Championships. Renteria proved too strong for the rest of the field not dropping a single point in any of her bouts, coming out 3-0 winner in the final over silver medallist Linda MACHUCA (ARG). Maria Jose ACOSTA from Venezuela triumphed in the 3-4 matchup to take bronze over Atzimba LANDAVERDE (MEX).

© Bill Bain - +70kg Women's BW - Tatiana Renteria Renteria (COL) df. Linda Marilina Machuca (ARG) in Acapulco, Mexico 2024.
© Bill Bain - Sand side in Acapulco, Mexico 2024.
© Bill Bain - 50kg Women's BW - Mariana Diaz Munoz (MEX) df. Moran Sanchez Yorlenis Milagros (PAN) in Acapulco, Mexico 2024.
© Bill Bain - 60kg Women's BW - Lozano Veytia Susana (MEX) df. Arguello Villegas Betzabeth Angelica (VEN) in Acapulco, Mexico 2024.
© Bill Bain - 70kg Women's BW - Astrid Paola Montero Chirinos (VEN) df. Parrado Osorio Nicoll Dayanna (COL) in Acapulco, Mexico 2024.

Justin BENJAMIN has written his name into the USA record books as he becomes their first ever male gold medallist in world-level Senior Beach Wrestling. He came out on top of Albaro RUDECINDO (DOM) 3-0 in the final of the men’s 70kg division to loud celebrations from the Americans in the stands. Julian HORTA from Mexico took bronze with a win over fellow Mexican Brandon DÍAZ.

It was an incredibly close finish in the men’s 80kg with the group locked on 3 wins. Guatemala’s David CHOC had crashed to an opening round defeat yesterday, but that won’t matter to him tonight as he came roaring back with 2 wins to take Guatemala’s first Beach Wrestling World Series gold. Jonathan VIRUET (PUR) took silver, and Victor HERNANDEZ (MEX) completed the podium. 2023 overall bronze medallist Tyler LOETHEN from the US took home the men’s top technique prize and trophy.

Jorge LLANO (ARG) hadn’t dropped a point on the opening day, and with a win in his last group match, again without dropping a point, he is Argentina’s first World Series gold medallist in the men’s 90kg category. Mexico’s Carlos SALAZAR and Daniel VICENTE picked up the silver and bronze respectively with wins in their last group match.

Venezuelan Jose DIAZ doubled his country’s number of gold medals ever won as he became the first Venezuelan men’s senior gold medal winner with victory in the men’s +90kg division. He got the better of Jonovan SMITH (PUR) in the final as he ground out a close fought 1-0 victory. Smith can console himself with a silver medal and an earlier secured Paris 2024 spot. Elison ADAMES (DOM) landed bronze with a win over Mexican Ulises SANCHEZ.

It's been a great opening leg of the 2024 Beach Wrestling World Series and it’s just getting started with four more stops to come to see who this year’s kings and queens of the Beach Wrestling World will be.

© Bill Bain - +90kg Men's BW - Diaz Robertti Jose Daniel (VEN) df. Jonovan Darius Smith (PUR) in Acapulco, Mexico.
© Bill Bain - 90kg Men's BW - Jorge Ivan Llano (ARG) df. Carlos De Jesus Salazar Gomez (MEX) in Acapulco, Mexico 2024.
© Bill Bain - Winners' celebration in Acapulco Beach Wrestling World Series 2024

Results Beach Wrestling World Series Acapulco

1. Mariana DIAZ, MEX
2. Yorlenis MORAN, PAN

1. Susana LOZANO, MEX
2. Betzabeth ARGUELLO, VEN
3. Anastasiya KRAVCHENKO, UKR

1. Astrid MONTERO, VEN
2. Nicoll PARRADO, COL
3. Alejandra RIVERA, MEX

1. Tatiana RENTERIA, COL
3. Maria Jose ACOSTA, VEN


3. Julian HORTA, COL

1. David CHOC, GUA
2. Jonathan VIRUET, PUR

1. Jorge LLANO, ARG
2. Carlos SALAZAR, MEX
3. Daniel VICENTE, MEX

1. Jose DIAZ, VEN
2. Donovan Smith, PUR
3. Elison ADAMES, DOM

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