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Calgary set to host U23 Canadian Wrestling Championships and Senior World Team Trials (Non-Olympic Weights)

May 17, 2024

CALGARY — The 2024 U23 Canadian Wrestling Championships and Senior World Team Trials (Non-Olympic Weights) are heading to Calgary, May 25-26, at the MNP Centre. This will be the second running of the event, which made a successful debut in 2023.

“After last year’s inaugural event, Wrestling Canada Lutte (WCL) is excited to build on the initial success of the U23 Canadian Wrestling Championships and Senior World Team Trials (Non-Olympic Weights),” said Tamara Medwidsky, WCL CEO. “Both competitions will feature some of the country’s top wrestlers, so it should provide some exciting action for all spectators.”

“Dinos Wrestling Club and the Canada Cup of Wrestling Society are proud to host the U23 Canadian Wrestling Championships and Senior World Team Trials (Non-Olympic Weights) in Calgary, at the MNP Centre,” said Mitch Ostberg, Host Organizing Committee Co-Chair. “The MNP Centre is in the heart of Calgary and will bring our sport into the public eye. The support of Tourism Calgary and all our volunteers make this event possible, and we look forward to welcoming WCL and our Canadian wrestling community again.”

At stake during the U23 Championships are national titles for all 10 weight classes in both Men’s Freestyle and Women’s Wrestling. In addition, winners will qualify to represent Canada at the 2024 U23 Pan-American Championships, June 21-22 in Rionegro, Colombia, and U23 World Championships, October 21-27 in Tirana, Albania.

The event will feature many individuals who have not only represented Canada but captured international honours. On the men’s side a name to watch will be North York’s Lachlan McNeil. McNeil, from Team Impact Wrestling Club, won the senior 65kg weight class at the 2023 Canadian Team Trials and recently competed at the World Olympic Qualifier, winning two matches before being defeated in the quarterfinal. McNeil is also a past silver medalist at the Commonwealth Games and had been named an NCAA Division 1 All-American the past two seasons, while wrestling for the North Carolina Tarheels.

As for the women, St. Catharines, Ontario’s Mia Friesen will compete at 59kg. The Brock Wrestling Club product was runner up at the Canadian Team Trials at 57kg but had an impressive showing. She was 5th at the U23 World Championships in 2023 and is also a past U20 Pan-American Championships silver medalist.

At the Senior World Team Trials, four weight classes will be contested for both Men’s Freestyle and Women’s Wrestling. The winners will go to the Senior World Championships – Non-Olympic Weights, October 28-31 in Tirana, Albania.

In the women’s 55kg weight class, Surrey, B.C.’s Karla Godinez Gonzalez will be in action. Godinez Gonzalez captured a World Championships bronze medal at 55kg in 2022 and was fifth in 2023. Godinez Gonzalez won the 2023 Canadian Team Trials 53kg weight class and recently competed at the World Olympic Qualifier.

The men’s side will feature a former Junior World Champion who recently completed his international sport transfer to represent Canada. Vancouver’s Peiman Biabani, who now trains out of the Burnaby Mountain Wrestling Club, captured the honour in 2016 while representing Iran. Since completing the transfer, Biabani has already found success representing Canada, earning a silver medal earlier this year at the Senior Pan-American Championships.

The U23 Canadian Wrestling Championships will be contested on May 25th and the Senior World Team Trials on May 26th. For more information, visit the tournament site.

In addition to the competitions, there will be a special WCL Hall of Fame ceremony on May 25th to induct the second member of the Class of 2024 – two time Olympian and current coach with Burnaby Mountain Wrestling Club – Dave McKay.

Spectators are welcome to attend, tickets can be purchased at the door. The event will also be streamed on FloWrestling at https://www.flowrestling.org/live/96317.