Day One of Rio Women’s Wrestling Competition Results in Fifth Place for Canada
(Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – With two days of women’s wrestling at the Rio Olympics, the energetic, chanting crowd on day one ensured the Olympic competition in Rio would be a showcase of Japanese dominance and the best wrestlers in the world, with crowd support to match. Women’s weight classes and Canadian entries were split evenly over the two days. On day one, Jasmine Mian (48KG), Michelle Fazzari (58KG) and Dori Yeats (69KG) each arrived motivated and anxious to wrestle. Of the three Wrestling Canada athletes, it was Dori Yeats who survived the preliminaries with a chance to wrestle in the 69KG repechage.
Reflecting on the day, Wrestling Canada Lutte Women’s National Coach Leigh Vierling, identified the lessons learned for the team today in Rio.
“Today was a bit of a rough lesson,” said Vierling. “Our loses were to top level athletes. In many tournaments we often get a softer opponent early on, but that’s not going to be the case here.”
For 2014 Commonwealth Games Bronze Medalist, Jasmine Mian and 2016 Pan Am Qualifier Gold Champion at 58KG Michelle Fazzari, today was not their day as each lost their opening bouts only to have their opponents lose subsequent bouts and close any door to the repechage. Mian was defeated by the eventual bronze medallist and former World Champion and 2016 Asian Champion Yanan Sun of China (14-4) and Fazzari by 2015 World Bronze Medalist Yesilirmak of Turkey (3-1).
“The athletes that won out there today carried themselves with confidence and were aggressive and even fearless at times,” remarked Vierling. “It has been an amazing year for our three athletes that competed today. I hope they can continue to learn and evolve from this incredible year.”
Coming out of the preliminaries with a win against Nigerian wrestler Rueben (11-1) and then a quarter-final loss against 2015 World Championships Bronze Medalist and Rio Champion, Sara Dosho of Japan (7-2), again, Dorothy Yeats and Canada had to await other match scores to determine if Yeats would have an opportunity to move on in the competition. In a tense match, Dosho of Japan beat Fransson of Sweden allowing Yeats to continue to wrestle for Canada.
In the 69KG repechage, Yeats the 2010 Youth Olympic Games Champion, two-time Junior World Champion, 2014 FISU World Champion, 2014 Commonwealth Games Champion, and 2015 Pan Am Games Champion, had to first wrestle Buse Torsun of Turkey. In the repechage, fighting for a chance to wrestle for bronze, Yeats and Torsun were cagey, each being assigned a penalty. But in the end it was Yeats who drove the Turkish wrestler from the mat for a step out and then hung on to win the bout 3-2, putting her in contention for a 69KG Olympic bronze medal.
In her bronze medal match against Jenny Fransson of Sweden, a wrestler known for her quick aggressive style, an early point was awarded for the Swede for Yeats’ passivity followed by a point to each wrestler for a step out. In the end, Yeats ran out of enough time to gain additional points and the match ended with a score of 2-1 for Fransson. Yeats finished her Olympics in fifth place in the 69KG weight class.
Following the bout, Yeats remarked on the lessons she was taking away.
“Last year at the 2015 World Championships I finished last, I have been working really hard this year on consistency and competing at this level,” said Yeats. “I knew coming into this experience that I needed to learn from it and fifth represents a great improvement at this level.”
On Thursday, the three additional Canadian women’s entries including Canadian wrestlers Jillian Gallays (53KG), Danielle Lappage (63KG) and Erica Wiebe (75KG) will compete. Coach Vierling thinks that lessons could be learned from today’s competition to help the remainder of the team members.
“Tomorrow we just need to take the Olympic weight off of our shoulders and step out onto the mat ready to get after it and embrace the battle,” said Vierling.
For additional information on scheduling and results please visit: https://unitedworldwrestling.org/event/olympic-games .