How Mexico Became the Proving Ground for Wrestling's Rising Stars

Despite a natural disaster, Mexico hosted major wrestling events with resounding success. Mexican wrestlers won medals, Olympic quotas, and global recognition, proving their nation a force in the sport.

How Mexico Became the Proving Ground for Wrestling's Rising Stars
The president of FEMELA made a balance of the three wrestling events that took place in Acapulco; he highlighted the transcendental roles of CONADE and CNAR in an Olympic process. Credit: CONADE

After a trilogy of renowned associated wrestling competitions held in Acapulco, Guerrero, including a Pan American Olympic Qualifier, the president of the Federación Medallistas de la especialidad (FEMELA), Guillermo Díaz Gutiérrez, considered the objective achieved in terms of the level of the Mexican athletes, as well as in the response of the public of that entity.

“This series of events in our country was something unusual, and we organized it: the Pan American Championship, the Pan American Qualifier and the Beach Wrestling World Series, which was held for the first time in America and will consist of four stages,” he said in an interview with the National Commission of Physical Culture and Sports (CONADE).

“Because of the natural disaster in Acapulco, the Confederación Panamericana de Luchas Asociadas (CPLA) wanted these competitions to be held in other parts of the continent; however, with the support of CONADE we were able to carry out the tournaments with great quality. We are built for this and to host other higher level competitions,” he added.

The Aztec representatives who saw action in the fairs shone with their own light, as they obtained ten medals and the runner-up position in the Pan American, six medals and first place in both beach wrestling, and especially two quotas in freestyle to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, thanks to the outstanding performances of Román Bravo and Austin Gómez.

“Olympic and world champions participated in the Qualifiers, against which Mexico obtained two places in freestyle, which had not been achieved for four processes. We were very close to get two more quotas in women's and Greco-Roman, but we achieved our goal in this part by hosting the event. We will go to the World Championship in Turkey, searching for two more places with the best athletes we have to do so,” said the former wrestler.

The transcendental event to be held in European territory will be from May 9 to 12, so Mexican athletes will continue with their intense preparation at the National Center for Sports Talent Development and High Performance (CNAR), a complex that belongs to CONADE, searching for the highest competitive level to increase the number of Olympic quotas.

“For quite a few months now, we have had the wrestlers concentrated at the CNAR, where they have the best preparation in all areas, and it is a complex that asks nothing of any country in America, and even in Europe, since they are great facilities. It is of great help to develop our athletes and help them achieve their Olympic qualification,” he explained.

“The big events in our country could not be seen without the support of the CONADE, which allows us to have the boys well taken care of and that they can attend the big competitions, where we have had this experience. The vice president of the UWW named the Qualifier as the best event for more than 20 years in America, and that Mexico is ready to be able to hold a World Championship”; he concluded.