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Ontario wrestlers capture 11 of 20 gold medals at Canadian U23 Championships

May 28, 2023

LAVAL, QC – The inaugural Canadian U23 Wrestling Championships and World Team Trials (Senior, non-Olympic weights) began on May 27, from Place Bell in Laval, QC. The best wrestlers under 23 took to the mats looking to be crowned national champion and punch their ticket to the U23 World Championships, October 23-29, in Tampere, Finland.

The tournament saw a special guest, former UFC Champion Georges St-Pierre, who was also named Honorary Tournament President, welcome participants and officially open the event.

U23 Women

When action got underway it was Ontario who took home the Provincial Team Award on the women’s side. Ontario had a strong showing with seven gold medalists. The list included: Kelyn Young, Guelph WC, at 50kg; Serena Di Benedetto, Hamilton WC, at 53kg; Mia Friesen, Brock WC, at 57kg; Michaela Rankin, Brock WC, at 59kg; Samantha Adams, Brock WC, at 65kg; Vanessa Keefe, Brock WC, at 68kg; and Nyla Burgess, Team Impact, at 72kg.

Thanks to the four medals by Friesen, Rankin, Adams and Keefe, Brock WC took home the Women’s Club Award. Brock finished with 33 points, 17 better than second place Edmonton WC.

The Most Outstanding Wrestler was awarded to Virginie Kaze-Gascon, from Montreal-NTC, who had a stellar tournament capturing gold in the women’s 55kg weight class. Kaze-Gascon won both of her round robin matches by fall to top the podium.

U23 Men

As for the men, it was Ontario, who earned top honours with the Provincial Team Award. They featured four gold medalists in Treye Trotman, London-Western WC, at 57kg; Garette Saunders, Brock WC, at 61kg; Ismail Ayyoub, Hamilton WC, at 79kg; and Kyle Jordan, Central Toronto WC, at 125kg.

The club team award went to Burnaby Mountain WC. They finished the event with 35 points and were led by gold medals from Patrik Leder at 74kg, Owen Martin at 86kg and Sam Pereira at 92kg.

Leder, was named the men’s Most Outstanding Wrestler. He took down both the 2023 Senior National Champion Adam Thomson, London Western WC, and 2023 Junior National Champion Amaan Gulacha, Brock WC, on route to the gold.

For full results, by weight classes, visit the tournament site.

Tomorrow, the event wraps up with the World Team Trials (Senior, non-Olympic weights). The action begins at 10 a.m. If you are in the area, spectators are welcome to attend, admission is free. The event is also streamed on FloWrestling.