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Linda Morais earns Paris 2024 spot at World Olympic Qualifier

May 11, 2024
Linda Morais

ISTANBUL, TURKIYE – Canada is adding to its 2024 Paris Olympic Games team after Montreal’s Linda Morais clinched her spot at the final World Olympic Qualifier May 9-12, in Istanbul, Turkiye.

Morais, who trains at the Montreal – National Training Centre, captured the third and final spot for women’s 68kg weight class.

“It is such an incredible feeling. It is something I have wanted ever since I was a little girl. Everyone who knows me, knows I have been talking about the Olympics since elementary school when I met an Olympian,” said Morais after her final match. “I am only here because of my incredible coaches: Dave Zilberman, who has been behind me for over 10 years. Any time I have wanted to let go he has pushed me through. Also, my high school coach Mr. Tremblay, he always believed in me, even when I didn’t; Martine Dugrenier, she has been pushing me for a long time, and Victor and Rob, I have such an amazing coaching staff supporting me. My teammates too are incredible, I can’t thank them enough. This is such an incredible journey, and I am excited that it continues. I get one more opportunity to represent Canada and I am excited to have that maple leaf on my chest.”

It was a tough grind for Morais as she competed in six matches in two days. She began her tournament on May 10th with a 10-0 win by superiority over Danute Domikaityte of Lithuania. Morais continued to roll in her second match earning another 10-0 win by superiority over Nabira Esenbaeva of Uzbekistan. However, her momentum was halted in the quarterfinal by Feng Zhou of China. Zhou beat Morais 12-0 and went on to earn one of the first two qualification sports.

With Zhou earning a spot, it pulled Morais back into the repechage with a chance to still grab the final spot. She faced Ohyoung Ha from Republic of Korea on May 11th and came away with another 10-0 win by superiority. That advanced her to the bronze medal match with Mimi Hristova of Bulgaria. Morais once again earned a win by superiority 14-4, setting up the true bronze match with Alexandra Anghel of Romania. Morais scored an early four-point takedown in this one and was able to see it through winning on points 4-3 to secure her spot.

For full results from the World Olympic Qualifier visit the tournament site.

With Morais’ qualification, the Canadian Olympic wrestling team is now set with six members. Already qualified on the women’s side are: Summerside, P.E.I.’s Hannah Taylor at 57kg; Coquitlam, B.C.’s Ana Godinez Gonzalez at 62kg; and Burnaby, B.C.’s Justina Di Stasio at 76kg. On the men’s side Montreal’s Alex Moore has qualified at 86kg and Surrey, B.C.’s Amar Dhesi at 125kg.

The Olympic Wrestling event takes place August 5-11 at the Arena Champ-de-Mars.