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Canadian wrestlers one step closer to Tokyo 2020

December 08, 2019

NIAGARA, Ont. – Olympic Champion Erica Wiebe will lead a team of Canadian wrestlers to the Ottawa 2020 Olympic Qualification Tournament in an attempt to stamp their ticket to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Wiebe defeated 2018 World Champion Justina Di Stasio in the best-of-three finals at the Canadian Wrestling Trials in Niagara. Wiebe won two-straight bouts in the Scotiabank Center by scores of 5-2 and 2-1.

The two have wrestled each other for the top spot at 76 kg in Canada for the past four years.

“I wouldn’t call it a rivalry, it’s more of a challenge to get better every day. Justina’s an amazing athlete and she pushes me to be better.”

Winners of the Canadian Wrestling Trials will wrestle at the Pan-Am Olympic Qualification Tournament. The top two finishers at the event in Ottawa in March will be nominated to Team Canada at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

“It’s going to be different; I’ve never wrestled in my hometown. There’s lots on the line, so I’ll just do lots of what I do every single day. Get that one percent better.”

MacDonald gets her birthday wish

Jessie MacDonald gave herself the gift of a lifetime on with a Canadian Wrestling Trials victory on her 35th birthday. The three-time World Championship medallist defeated Madison Parks in two straight finals matches to earn her spot at the Olympic qualifier.

“I’ve always said it, it’s not one person that steps on that mat. I knew I had so many people behind me. It’s not just my friends and family, but it’s my therapists, my coaches, my training partners. I could never give back for what these people have given me.”

Steen ankle-laces the competition

Jordie Steen of the Montreal Wrestling Club dominated the 97 kg weight-class with his remarkable ankle-lace attack. Steen won all six of his matches by technical superiority, scoring ten or more points than his opponent in each bout.

“I work it every day in practice. These guys get so good at defending it that I’ve got to keep changing it up, keep finding different ways to do it. I was lucky today, these guys are all super tough, but I made it through.”

Dhesi dethrones the heavyweight title

Amar Dhesi defeated 2016 Olympian Korey Jarvis for the top place at 125 kg. It’s Jarvis’ first loss to a Canadian in six years. Dhesi was dominant in the finals, winning his two matches 11-0 and 10-0.

Morais pins her way to victory

2019 World Champion Linda Morais pinned Hannah Taylor twice in the finals to secure the top spot at 57 kg. Morais was named Outstanding Wrestler of the Tournament for her efforts.

Dillon Williams of Team Impact won the men’s award for Outstanding Wrestler after defeating Chris McIsaac 5-2 and 5-1 in the 65 kg finals.

Complete list of winners

50 kg Jessie MacDonald
53 kg Samantha Stewart
57 kg Linda Morais
62 kg Michelle Fazzari
68 kg Danielle Lappage
76 kg Erica Wiebe

57 kg Ligrit Sadiku
65 kg Dillon Williams
74 kg Jasmit Phulka
86 kg Clayton Pye
97 kg Jordie Steen
125 kg Amar Dhesi

The Canadian Wrestling Trials took place from December 5 to 7 at the Scotiabank Center in Niagara, Ont. Complete results from the event are available here.