The Lima Pan Am Games served as an important learning experience for Canadian boxer Tammara Thibeault regardless of her medal’s colour.
She’s still grateful and surprised to be getting an upgrade.
The Canadian Olympic Committee and Boxing Canada announced Tuesday that she will get Pan Am silver in the 75-kilo category instead of bronze. The reallocation came after Panam Sports announced earlier this year that Colombian gold medallist Jessica Caicedo was disqualified for a doping violation.
“There are rules in place to give everyone a fair chance on the playing field and that is something that should never be compromised,” Thibeault said. “This is not how I imagined winning a silver medal, but I am incredibly thankful for the reward.”
Specifics on Caicedo’s violation were not included in the COC release. American Naomi Silver was awarded the gold medal.
Thibeault, who lost a split decision in the semifinals to Caicedo, was disappointed in her performance at the Miguel Grau Coliseum, feeling she could have done more in the bout.
She made adjustments at future competitions as a result and it paid off with a world championship bronze a few months later.
“It was like a step that I had to take,” she said from Montreal. “Like a blessing in disguise because it really shifted my focus where I told myself I had to buckle down and really get on it.”
After a prolonged re-allocation process impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, Thibeault recently received her new silver medal from Boxing Canada high-performance director Daniel Trepanier.
“We were proud of the heart and integrity Tammara showed at Lima 2019 in and out of the ring and are so pleased that she has now been awarded what she rightfully earned,” COC president Tricia Smith said in a statement.
It was the first Pan Am Games appearance for Thibeault, a 23-year-old native of Saint-Georges, Que.
She won bronze at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in 2018 and is now training for next year’s qualifications ahead of the Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
Canada finished fourth in the overall standings in Lima with 152 medals (35-65-52). The United States topped the table, followed by Brazil and Mexico.
Brazil’s Flavia Figueiredo and Ecuador’s Erika Estefania Pachito Jurado were awarded bronze medals after the reallocation.