American Sam Jones competes at record-setting Pan American Beach Wrestling Championships

By Richard Immel, USA Wrestling | May 08, 2017, 8 p.m. (ET)
Photo: Sam Jones (USA) scores a takedown in his opening match at the Pan American Beach Wrestling Championships. Photo by Richard Immel.

Video: U.S. participant Sam Jones reflects on Pan American beach wrestling experience

SALVADOR DA BAHIA, Brazil – The 2017 Pan American Beach Wrestling Championships was held at Stella Maris Beach on Monday with a record-setting 60 matches being contested in the unique international wrestling style.

Sam Jones, a native of Chesterfield, Va., was the lone U.S. competitor in the field. Jones competed in the 70 kg/154 lbs. bracket, going 0-3 on the day. He took on opponents from Ecuador, Colombia and Brazil.

“I didn’t wrestle as well as I wanted to, but I still had fun,” Jones said. “It’s the international comradery here. You see these guys helping each other up out of the sand. That’s really inspiring. That’s the best thing about it.”

Athletes from eight Pan American nations were entered in the tournament. Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Puerto Rico, United States and Uruguay were all represented. There was a total of 39 wrestlers who competed, 27 men and 12 women.

This marks only the second Pan American Beach Wrestling Championships, with the other being held in Cartagena, Colombia, in 2015. Ike Okoli of Columbia, S.C. is the only American medalist at this event, taking gold two years ago.

The 2017 Beach Wrestling World Championships are tentatively scheduled for August. A location has yet to be determined.

Americans interested in trying their hand at beach wrestling may do so at the U.S. Beach Wrestling Nationals being held in Carolina Beach, N.C. on May 19.

At Salvador da Bahia, Brazil, May 8

Final Results
Women’s Beach Wrestling
60 kg/132 lbs.
Gold – Luiza Valverde (Ecuador)
Silver – Brenda Fernandez (Mexico)
Bronze – Fatima Crizanto (Mexico)

70 kg/154 lbs.
Gold – Camila Tristao (Brazil)
Silver – Fabiana Alcantara (Brazil)
Bronze – Elaine Albuquerque (Brazil)

70+ kg/154+ lbs.
Gold – Kaila Silva (Brazil)
Silver – Munique Calazans (Brazil)
Bronze – Brenda Agular (Brazil)

Men’s Beach Wrestling
70 kg/154 lbs.
Gold – Carlos Murta (Brazil)
Silver – Emilio Peres (Mexico)
Bronze – Mauricio Sanches (Ecuador)

80 kg/176 lbs.
Gold – Pedro Soto (Puerto Rico)
Silver – Juan Escobar (Mexico)
Bronze – Marcos Vimicius Calarams (Brazil)

90 kg/198 lbs.
Gold – Felipe Oliveira (Brazil)
Silver – Enrique Cuero (Ecuador)
Bronze – Alfonso Leyva (Mexico)

90+ kg/198+ lbs.
Gold – Davi Albino (Brazil)
Silver – Yehudi Silva (Brazil)
Bronze – Jesse Luiz (Mexico)

U.S. Beach Wrestling Results
70 kg – Sam Jones, Chesterfield, Va.
LOSS Christian (Ecuador), 3-2
LOSS Andres (Colombia), 3-0
LOSS Carlos Murta (Brazil), 3-0