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Canadian Olympic Wrestling Hopefuls On Road To Olympic Qualifications

January 22, 2016

(Ottawa, ON) – With the 2016 wrestling season underway, Canadian Olympic Wrestling hopefuls head to international meets as they prepare for upcoming events with Olympic qualifications on the line.

January 30-31, the 2016 Olympics will be hosting the Aquece Rio International Women’s Wrestling Tournament test event in Rio, Brazil. Women’s National Coach Leigh Vierling and coach Paul Ragusa (Dinos Wrestling Club) will be supporting Canada’s top women’s wrestlers and recent winners of the Canadian Wrestling Team Trials which took place in Strathcona County, Alberta in December 2015. Competing in Rio within the Olympic weight classes are two athletes whose weight classes are already qualified to compete this summer in Rio; 2014 Commonwealth Games Bronze medalist Jasmine Mian (48 KG) and 2014 Commonwealth Games Gold Medalist Danielle Lappage (63 KG). The team for the test event will also include Michelle Fazzari (58 KG), 2015 Pan Am Games Champion Dorothy Yeats (69 KG) and 2014 Commonwealth Games Champion Erica Wiebe (75 KG).

“Coming off of the extremely competitive Canadian Wrestling Team Trials, the top wrestlers in Canada within the women’s Olympic weight classes have been preparing hard for our next chance to qualify more Canadian women,” says Wrestling Canada Lutte President Don Ryan. “The team is excited to see the 2016 Olympic wrestling venue as a preview before this summer.”

For the men’s team, preparing for the Olympic qualification events will mean a trip to Sofia, Bulgaria to compete at the Kolov & Petrov International, January 29-31, 2016.

“Our men’s team are anxious to start 2016 strong and are excited about competing and preparing for the upcoming qualification events,” says Wrestling Canada Lutte Executive Director Tamara Medwidsky. “The Bulgaria event will give our wrestlers one more chance to scope out the competition and compete to their best abilities.”

The men’s roster for Bulgaria includes 2014 Commonwealth Games Gold Medalist Korey Jarvis (125 KG), 2015 Pan Am Games Silver Medalist Arjun Gill (97 KG), 2015 Pan Am Games Bronze Medalist Tamerlan Tagziev (86 KG) and John Pineda (57 KG). The team will be supported by Men’s National Coach Gia Sissaouri, and coach Dave McKay (Burnaby Mountain Wrestling Club).

In addition to the Brazil and Bulgaria events, a Canadian contingent will also be heading to the Dave Schultz Memorial International in Colorado Springs, USA (January 28-30).

To date, Canada has qualified two weight classes for Rio. The women’s freestyle wrestling weight classes that were qualified at the 2015 World Wrestling Championships in Las Vegas in September include 48 KG and 63 KG. Upcoming potential Olympic qualifying events include:

  • Pan American Olympic qualifier, March 4-6, 2016 (Frisco, USA) – top two in each style and weight-class qualify,
  • The first international qualifier event, April 22-24, 2016 (Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia) – top three male and top two females in each style and weight class qualify,
  • The final international qualifier event, May 6–8, 2016 (Istanbul, Turkey) – top two in each style and weight-class.

Aquece Rio International Women’s Wrestling Tournament entries:

48 kg – Jasmine Mian (Barrie, ON)
58 kg – Michelle Fazzari (Hamilton, ON)
63 kg – Danielle Lappage (Olds, AB)
69 kg – Dorothy Yeats (Montreal, QC)
75 kg – Erica Wiebe (Stittsville, ON)

Kolov & Petrov International entries:

57 kg – John Pineda (Vancouver, BC)
86 kg – Tamerlan Tagziev (Toronto, ON)
97 kg – Arjun Gill (Surrey, BC)
125 kg – Korey Jarvis (Guelph, ON)