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Canada Qualifies One Entry in Men’s Freestyle for Rio

March 06, 2016

(Frisco, USA) – Wrestling Canada Lutte’s men’s freestyle team had a tough day on the mats at the Pan Amercian Olympic Qualifier in Frisco, Texas with only one of six weight classes being qualified for the Rio Olympics.

Hoping to build on the success of the women’s team the day before, the men faced some tough draws and injury and had three athletes in the semi-finals looking to secure those Olympic spots. Canada’s sole qualifier of the day was Korey Jarvis of Guelph, ON at 125 kg.

Jarvis had a bye in the first round and focused all his energies on the semi-final match against Vivenes Urbaneja of Venezuela. Korey wrestled a tactically strong match and was able to score a 4-point takedown and the fall off a counter-attack to win the match and clinch that Olympic spot.

In the end it was 1 silver and 2 bronze medals for the men’s team. John Pineda of Vancouver was eliminated after losing a tight match 6-6 against Venezuela at 57 kg. Montreal’s Cleo Ncube won his first match against Guatemala at 74 kg, but had to withdraw in the quarter-final due to a leg injury. Tamerlan Tagziev of Toronto won his first match at 86 kg against Brazil, then lost to eventual winner Salas Perez of Cuba. He came back in the repechage to beat Dominica and then lost to Herbert of the USA to settle for 5th. Vancouver’s Garcia started strong with 2 back-to-back wins against Honduras and Venezuela. He lost in the semis against a tough Cuban wrestler and then came back to win a bronze medal against Dominica. Arjun Gill also of Vancouver, beat Argentina, lost to Venezuela in the semi-finals and then won his final match of the day against Trinidad & Tobago to take home the bronze medal.

Jarvis will now shift his focus to final preparations for Rio, while the remaining members of the men’s team will need to regroup and prepare for the two remaining qualifiers in Mongolia and Turkey.

Canadian entries on the Road to Rio continue tomorrow on the final day of competition at the Pan Am Olympic qualifier with Greco-Roman wrestling. Canada’s team includes Steven Takahashi (59 kg) of London, ON, John Yeats (66 kg) of Montreal, QC, and four athletes from Fredericton, NB, including Shawn Daye-Finley (75 kg), Alex Brown-Theriault (85 kg), Alex Thoms (98 kg) and CJ Thoms (130 kg).

Livestream will be available throughout the weekend at https://unitedworldwrestling.org/event/pan-american-og-qualifying-tournament.

Following the Frisco Pan Am qualification event, remaining qualification events include:

  • April 22-24, 2016 (Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia) – top three male and top two females in each style and weight class qualify,
  • May 6-8, 2016 (Istanbul, Turkey) – top two in each style and weight class.

Photo courtesy of Tony Rotundo