Agustin Destribats: Argentina’s Olympic Return #wrestlingTweet
Argentina may not be particularly well known when it comes to wrestling unlike Russia or Cuba. But Agustin Destribats is out to change that. Destribats managed to pin the United States own Zain Retherford to move on to the finals at the Pan America Qualifiers for the Tokyo Olympics.
Life as a wrestler
Destribats started wrestling at a young age. He was thrown into a martial arts gym in Argentina. The gym had savate and capoeira. While there were multiple sports at the gym, one specific sport caught his attention. From that moment, Agustin Destribats was hooked in.
“I started wrestling when I was 10 years old, when a neighbor told me that they put up a martial arts school close to home and he wanted me to go, but he never told me if it was boxing or something else. When I went it was about various combat sports but the one that most caught my attention and I liked was the wrestling.”
Destribats is always traveling with wrestling. “I live for [wrestling]. I am always outside my country or province, when I am abroad it is never a fixed place.”
Agustin Destribats has competed in both freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling. But, Destribats’ path ahead of him seems to be with freestyle wrestling. He feels that his time in Greco has helped him in freestyle and will continue to help him.
“It was not so difficult, I always liked freestyle wrestling more, but I think you should try to do some wrestling in Greco. I think that it helps a lot the freestylers sometimes. We have situations similar to those of Greco. For me I would compete in both styles, but if I have to choose I choose freestyle.”
Agustin Destribats to the Olympics
Agustin Destribats has the biggest goals in mind. He knows his country is due for something great and he hopes to be the man to bring just that to Argentina.
“I want to make history in Argentinian wrestling, achieve the greatest possible achievements and if I become known worldwide in the wrestling community.”
The coronavirus has canceled events around the globe and even pushed back the 2020 Tokyo Olympics an entire year. For training, Augusto Destribats says athletes everywhere have taken a hit. While he would love to train, Agustin Destribats knows how important it is to stay home during this crisis.
“It is difficult for someone with high performance where they need a lot of physical demand. But it is good for everyone and we have to understand that and try to do as much as possible to stay at home.”
Agustin Destribats defeats Zain Retherford
Perhaps the most impressive feat at this years Pan Ams from Destribats was his victory over Penn State’s Zain Retherford. Retherford is a two time NCAA Champion and was the favorite going into the match with Destribats. Destribats managed to come from behind against Retherford and pin him for the win.
“I knew it was going to be a complicated match. He was a difficult opponent but I also knew everything I had trained to get there I enter the mat with my mind prepared to take advantage of any situation and so it happened in a counter was poorly positioned and I took advantage of the opportunity.”
Watch Agustin Destribats defeat Zain Retherford on YouTube below!
That counter he is referring to was from a leg lace. Agustin Destribats managed to break Retherford’s grip and get him on his back for the fall. The win qualified Destribats for the Olympics, the first time for an Argentinian wrestler since Paulo Ibire did in 1996. Destribats says it’s always been his dream to represent his country in the Olympics, wrestling’s biggest stage.
Destribats gets the pin and lets out a roar of pure emotion and excitement. The achieving of his life long goal was one of pure excitement.
“It feels very good and is the dream of any athlete. I dreamed it since I was a child and I achieved it. I am truthfully very happy.”
Unfortunately, Destribats didn’t win gold, but it was enough to qualify for the Olympics. He didn’t compete in the finals of the Pan Am Olympic Qualifiers against Cuba’s Alejandro Valdes Tobier. Destribats pulled out due to injury from the Pan Americans Olympic Qualifiers. In the earlier Pan Ams, he injured his knee against the United States’ Yianni Diakomihalis in the semi-finals. With the Olympics on his radar, Destribats had nothing left to prove and not injuring himself any further was absolutely the right call. If he were to hurt himself anymore, he would not be 100% going into the Olympics even with it postponed by a year.
“In the Pan Americans, I had injured my knee in the semifinal against Diakomihalis. I fought the bronze like that. In the qualifying matches, I had a lot of pain and it was not worth it to keep hurting there was nothing to prove.”
2020 Olympics Postponed
Going forward, even with the 2020 Tokyo Olympics postponed, Destribats is optimistic about his future in The Games. He says pushing them back was the right call and he is not in a rush for time.
“With all this topic of the pandemic it seems to me the best option. I am young I have no problem with time. Things will come without difficulties for me.”
Agustin Destribats won’t be jumping ship from wrestling any time soon. When asked if there are other sports in his future he says, “I only dedicate myself to this and most of my time is spent for wrestling.” For him to throw a life’s worth of work away is not in the cards.
While the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games was in fact pushed back to 2021, one things for sure, they will happen. Now with Agustin Destribats being qualified, he will be there to represent Argentina as well.
Don’t forget to follow Agustin Destribats on Instagram to follow his quest for Olympic gold at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.