Shannon Hanna II strikes gold at Pat Shaw Memorial


Tribune Sports Reporter

BAHAMIAN wrestler Shannon Hanna II secured his second gold medal of the season on Saturday at the 2024 United World Wrestling (UWW) Pat Shaw Memorial in Guatemala City, Guatemala.

Hanna was impressive against opponents from the host country, Costa Rica and Jamaica in the 65kg freestyle division to leave Guatemala as a gold medallist.

With the latest tournament victory, the 23-year-old has improved to 7-3 in his matches for the 2024 season. 

Additionally, he has scored 55 points overall and only conceded 32 points.

The Pan-Am gold medallist said emerging as the champion felt good but he is more focused on improving his craft. “It felt good since this is the first one for The Bahamas. I want to grow the sport and I think this is a big step. Hopefully, some little kid can see this and think ‘this is cool and I want to do this’. Every time that I wrestle I just want to make sure I give my best and be exposed to different areas so that I can get better. Wins and losses do not really matter to me, I just want to get better at wrestling,” Hanna said.

In his first match of the tournament, the gifted wrestler was matched up against Costa Rica’s Daniel Diaz Mendez. He took down Mendez in less than a minute, winning the bout 11-0. 

Following this match, Hanna prepared to take on Guatemala’s Johnathan Perez Castellanos. He defeated Castellanos 10-0 to advance to the final round of competition. 

Hanna went head-to-head with Jamaica’s Jordan Mitchell and trumped him 2-1 in the last match of the tournament. 

This win would give Hanna his second gold medal finish for the season. 

The Campbell University student spoke about his experiences in the three matches won.

“The first guy that I wrestled was from Costa Rica and that match lasted less than a minute. I was focused on scoring points in that match and I just happened to score them very quickly. It felt good getting the win.

“My next match was basically the same thing against Guatemala and it lasted about 58 seconds. 

“In the finals, I had to wrestle against a guy from Jamaica and I knew him and was wrestling with him all week. 

“The mat was very slippery so it was a bit hard to wrestle but we were both happy to be there and represent our countries,” he said.

Next up for the gold medallist will be the Under-23 Pan-American Championships scheduled to take place June 21-22 in Rionegro, Colombia.Hanna remains confident but humble moving on to his next international wrestling event.

“Nothing has changed. It is just going out now and wrestling my best and using it as an opportunity to get better at the end of the day. Hopefully, we come out with the gold which is the ultimate goal but I just want to go out there, try my best and continue to get better,” he said.

The dedicated wrestler secured The Bahamas’ first international medal at the 2024 Pan American Championships back in February and will look to continue with this momentum at the end of June.

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