Morrison Wins Bronze and Qualifies 48KG Weight-Class for RIO 2016
(Las Vegas, USA) – Day three saw some hardware, an Olympic weight-class qualification for Rio and some surprises and excitement for the Canadian team at the 2015 World Championship in Las Vegas.
With Women’s Freestyle competitors for the day including Pan Am Games Champion at 48KG Genevieve Morrison (Dinos WC), 2014 Commonwealth Games Champion and 2015 Pan Am Games Champion at 69KG Dorothy Yeats of the Tristar Wrestling Academy and Team Impact’s Brianne Barry 53KG, the venue was excited for the start of the women on the mats.
Morrison looked strong in her bouts as she worked her way through her bracket. In her qualifying bout against Rebecca Ndolo Muambo of Cameroon, Morrison quickly defeated her opponent with a show of technical superiority and a final score of 10-0. Into the round of 16, Morrison won her bout against Requena Tirado of Puerto Rico again 10-0. Looking strong, Morrison then qualified for the quarter-finals beating Nataliya Pulkovska from Ukraine 2-0.
In the quarter-finals, Morrison met Castillo of Columbia. Morrison scored the first point, but from there it was a competitive bout where each wrestler fought hard. In the end Morrison held the score at 5-4. With the win, Morrison officially qualified the 48KG weight class entry for the Rio Olympic Summer Games.
“Olympic qualification for my weight class was my goal and if it happened I said I would be more than satisfied and I am proud to say I was a valuable step in Canada achieving that,” said Morrison.
In the semi-final, Morrison met Tosaka of Japan. Morrison fought hard, and scored 4 points, but the two-time World Champion Japanese wrestler held on the win 6-4 forcing Morrison to battle for bronze. For her bronze medal final, Morrison was to meet Valentina Islamova Brik of Russia.
In her 48KG bronze medal final, featuring the sixth and seventh placed wrestlers in the world, both wrestlers looked even and cautious. Morrison got the first point because the Russian was cautious, but the Russian then managed to rally. By the end, it was Morrison who earned the win with 3 points to the Russian’s 2. She had won a bronze medal at the 2015 World Championships.
“It’s surreal, kind of like a dream,” said Morrison directly after her bronze medal win. “You have to take it one match at a time and not get too ahead of yourself, so it is different than other tournaments because each match is its own tournament based on the level of competitors. Obviously I am supper happy with this performance.”
In the round of 16 for 69KG, Dorothy Yeats lost to 2008 Olympic Medalist Agnieszka Jadwiga Wieszczek-Kordus of Poland 9-4.
At 53KG, Melanie Lydie Sandra Lesaffre of France was victorious over Brianne Barry 12-1.
Day four in Vegas will be Canada’s busiest day at the World Championships with four women’s weight-class entries and one men’s freestyle entry. Canadian wrestlers competing tomorrow include, at 63KG, 2015 Junior World Bronze Medallist and 2015 Pan Am Games Champion Braxton Stone-Papadopoulos (Team Impact WC), 2015 Pan Am Games Silver Medalist Justina Di Stasio (Burnaby Mountain WC), 2014 Commonwealth Games Bronze Medalist Jasmine Mian (55KG) of the Dinos Wrestling Club and for the 58KG weight-class, Michelle Fazzari of the Brock Wrestling Club.
For the men, two-time Olympian, and 2015 Pan Am Games bronze medalist Haislan Garcia (Burnaby Mountain WC) will compete in the men’s freestyle 66KG division.