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2023 Canadian U23 Wrestling Championships & World Team Trials (Sr. Non-Olympic Weights) kick off in Laval next week; Georges St-Pierre named Honorary Tournament President

May 18, 2023

LAVAL, QC– The 2023 Canadian U23 Wrestling Championships & World Team Trials (Sr. Non-Olympic Weights) are coming to Laval, QC and Place Bell, May 27-28. The inaugural running of the event will feature two competitions with many of the top wrestlers in the country participating.

The first day will see the best wrestlers, under 23 years of age, compete for the right to be named national champion in one of 10 weight classes for both Women’s Wrestling and Men’s Freestyle. The winners will also represent Canada at the U23 World Championships, October 23-29 in Finland. Following that competition, the second day will see senior-aged wrestlers compete to represent Canada at the World Championships in one of four non-Olympic weight classes for both Women’s Wrestling and Men’s Freestyle. With two great competitions, it will give attendees the chance to see a variety of top Canadian talent in action.

In addition to the two events, the host organizing committee, Fédération de lutte Olympique du Québec (FLOQ), La Cité de la culture et du sport de Laval, and Laval Sportcité are also please to announce an Honorary Tournament President: former UFC Champion Georges St-Pierre. St-Pierre will be in attendance Saturday morning to officially open the event.

“For an athlete who wants to be successful in mixed martial arts, wrestling is essential. It will train you the right values, determination, it will train you to never give up when faced with obstacles,” said Georges St-Pierre, Honorary Tournament President. “The best wrestlers are not those who have never lost, they are those who have overcome the obstacles. It’s a sport that helps young people to strengthen their minds, to prepare them for the challenges they will face later on in life. Wrestling is a sport that needs to be better known. In Laval, May 27-28, at the U23 Canadian Wrestling Championships & World Team Trials, I am looking forward to seeing the athletes perform.”

“After months of work, we are excited for wrestling to begin at the Canadian U23 Wrestling Championships & World Team Trials (Sr. Non-Olympic Weights),” said Tamara Medwidsky, Wrestling Canada Lutte (WCL) Executive Director. “Having seen this event go from a concept, to now being only a few days away, I have to applaud the work of everyone involved. Both competitions will feature some of the top wrestlers our country has, so it will provide exciting action for spectators throughout the weekend.”

Many well know names are set to compete in each competition. One to watch on the women’s side is Karla Godinez Gonzalez who will take part in the World Team Trials. Godinez Gonzalez, from Surrey, B.C. and Burnaby Mountain WC, represented Canada last year in one of the non-Olympic weights (55kg) and won bronze at the World Championships. She will look to equal or better that this year.

The women’s side also feature many local competitors with impressive international resumes. The list includes Laurence Beauregard, from Montreal and the Montreal – National Training Centre (NTC), who is a two-time Pan-American (Pan-Am) Championships gold medalist and represented Canada at the 2022 World Championships at 59kg. Beauregarde will compete in the World Team Trials to try and earn her spot again.

On the U23 side, Montreal’s Viginie Kaze-Gascon, from Montreal – NTC, will aim for the domestic title. She has represented Canada at the last two U23 World Championships and placed fifth in both.

As for the men, few competitors in the World Team Trials will be able to match the accomplishments of Abbotsford, B.C.’s Jasmit Phulka, from Burnaby Mountain WC. Phulka just returned from the 2023 Senior Pan-Am Championships with a silver medal and captured a bronze at the 2022 Commonwealth Games. The veteran of four world championships will attempt to once again represent Canada.

The local contingent will feature another recent 2023 Pan-Am silver medalist as Montreal’s Jeremy Poirier, Montreal – NTC, will compete in the World Team Trials. Poirier last competed at the World Championships in 2021 where he finished eighth.

In the U23 Championship, many eyes will be on Connor Church. Church, originally from Winnipeg and now training at Montreal -NTC, impressed by winning the 79kg weight class at the 2023 Senior and Junior Canadian Wrestling Championships and now he will look for a title at the U23 level. Church has also found success internationally as a junior, winning a Pan-Am bronze in 2022.

With these and so many more great competitors in action, the 2023 Canadian U23 Wrestling Championships & World Team Trials (Sr. Non-Olympic Weights) will be a can’t miss event. Spectators are welcome to attend, and admission is free for both days. The competitions will also be streamed on FloWrestling here.

For more information visit the tournament site at: https://wrestling.ca/event/2023-canadian-u23-wrestling-championships-world-team-trials-sr-non-olympic-weights/