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Barreiro brothers close out World Championships in Greco-Roman

October 27, 2018

BUDAPEST, Hungary – Twin brothers Thomas and Phillip Barreiro were Canada’s final two wrestlers at the 2018 Senior World Championships.

The brothers represented Canada in Greco-Roman wrestling at 87 kg and 97 kg.

Phillip, who was competing in his first world championships, was defeated Metehan Basar of Turkey by technical superiority in the 1/16 final. Barreiro was pulled into the repechage where Algeria’s Adem Boudjemline beat him 9-0.

“My hand fighting wasn’t fast enough and I wasn’t circling my feet enough,” said Phillip. “It’s my first time at worlds so there’s a little bit of jitters. I’ve got to work on my hand fighting, a lot.”

The Barreiro’s are members of the Akwesasne Mohawk Community

“My nation is really well known for lacrosse,” said Phillip, 29. “My people invented lacrosse. It’s very rare that we excel at any other sport. I didn’t excel at the level I wanted to today.”

Thomas was defeated in the 97 kg qualifying round by Revazi Nadareishvili of Georgia. Nadareishvili captured bronze at the 2017 edition of the championships.

“On my feet I felt fine, I was a little bit slow on the draw,” said Thomas. “The European’s par terre game is just on another level. I executed the strategy I was supposed to, but when I got put down I didn’t defend.”

“I didn’t wrestle too bad that match, I feel good about the hand fighting I did do. It’s one of those things where I’ve got to go find people who are really mean on top, and work on defending.”

The brothers’ coach, Doug Yeats is a four-time Olympian in Greco-Roman. He sees the value in the experience gained for Phillip and Thomas.

“I came to these tournaments for three or four years without any success, but by being allowed to come to these tournaments I was able to realize a tactic that would allow me to win, and I’m trying to instill that in these guys. It’s not about going out there and grabbing the guy and throwing him and scoring a bunch of points. It’s about wrestling in a way that he can’t score against you.”