Snyder and Burroughs strike gold at Pan-American Championships

USA freestyle wrestlers Kyle Snyder and Jordan Burroughs show ominous form at the Pan-American Championships, as they both grab gold in Canada

By Ken Browne

Rio 2016 freestyle wrestling gold medallist Kyle Snyder and London 2012 champion Jordan Burroughs are looking mean.

Both showed golden form at the Pan-Am Championships in Ottawa, Canada, just a few months out from Tokyo 2020.

Snyder beat Cuba’s two-time Olympian Reineris Perez 11-1 in a one-sided -97kg final, showing the sort of form that have put him at favourite to defend his crown at Tokyo 2020.

In what's been a stellar career already, Snyder made history by becoming the USA’s youngest ever Olympic gold medallist and youngest world champion in 2016.

He's still only 24.

And now has his third Pan-American Championships title too.

Jordan Burroughs - different class

In the -74kg final, Jordan Burroughs showed his class with an 8-1 victory over Puerto Rico’s Franklin Matos.

The 2012 Olympic champion and four-time world champion ramped up his preparations for Tokyo 2020 with three lopsided wins en route to a fourth Pan-American Championship gold.

Burroughs, who missed out on a second Olympic title with losses against Russia’s eventual silver medallist Aniuar Geduev and Uzbekistan’s Bekzod Abdurakhmonov at Rio 2016, will be looking to erase those memories with gold in Tokyo.

Find out how he's using devastation at Rio 2016 as motivation for Tokyo 2020 here:

USA Dominate

It was a dominant display from the U.S. men’s freestyle team as they won all six of their finals on Monday night (9 March) at the Pan Am champs in Canada, taking the team trophy with ease and scoring 205 points.

Individual titles went to Jordan Burroughs, Kyle Snyder, Anthony Ashnault, Yianni Diakomihalis, Tyler Graff and Tony Nelson in that Monday night blitz.

Both Snyder and Burroughs will be firm favourites to qualify when the U.S. Olympic Team Trials take place between 4 April and 5 April at the Bryce Jordan Center, Pennsylvania.

Read a full preview of the U.S. trials here.

From devastation to motivation via mindfulness

When Burroughs lost out on the chance to defend his title at Rio 2016, it left him broken.

"This was the most devastating loss that I had ever taken in my career." - Jordan Burroughs

He needed a new approach after Rio and found a way back to the top through mindfulness.

"Mindfulness for me really started after Rio.

"Up until that point, I had never really had to draw on my emotions when I've had such a negative situation or circumstance occur to me on the day of competition."

Speaking to Olympic Channel he said he had to find a way to reinvent himself and his approach.

"And so I was like, if I'm going to come back, I'm going to refine myself both physically but also psychologically and spiritually."

How you can tap into Jordan Burroughs' Olympic state of mind

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Keep an eye out for the video clips, articles, quizzes and games for you to watch, read, and play, plus a special episode of the Olympic Channel Podcast.