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Ottawa set for 2024 Canadian Wrestling Championships (Senior, U20-Junior, U17-Cadet)

March 07, 2024

OTTAWA – The Canadian Wrestling Championships (Senior, U20-Junior, U17-Cadet) are heading to Ottawa, March 14-17, as top wrestlers from across the country will converge on the TD Place Arena to battle it out to be called Canadian champion.

The titles will be up for grabs in all three age groups, with 10 weight classes each in Men’s Freestyle, Women’s Wrestling and Men’s Greco-Roman wrestling. In addition, the event will determine the representative for Canada’s 2024 U20-Junior and U17-Cadet national teams.

“Wrestling Canada Lutte (WCL) is excited to be hosting our Canadian Championships in Ottawa,” said Tamara Medwidsky, WCL CEO. “With our top senior athletes vying for Olympic spots abroad, the next generation of athletes will be looking to claim some of those senior championship titles, as well as national team spots at U20-Junior and U17-Cadet age groups, which will provide for some highly entertaining action. As we start transitioning towards the next quadrennial, this event will serve as a look ahead to who may don the maple leaf over the next four years and in Los Angeles in 2028.”

The event will be hosted by the National Capital Wrestling Club with support from Ottawa Tourism and the Ontario Amateur Wrestling Association.  “National Capital Wrestling Club, and the Ottawa region, have been growing their wrestling community, and capacity over the last number of years. Having hosted two very successful OFSAA Wrestling Championships in 2019 and 2022, the National Capital region is ready to take the next step in developing the wrestling community by hosting their first national championship in many years. Ottawa has a long history of creating champions and wrestling in the nation’s capital has never been brighter. The National Capital Wrestling Club can’t wait to start this event,” said Jason Kirby, Host Committee Co-Chair.

The list of returning champions has some notable names. It includes wrestlers who have represented Canada and won medals on the world stage. Headlining the list is Fredericton, New Brunswick’s Samantha Stewart. Stewart, who won the senior women’s 53kg weight class in 2023 and finished second at the 2023 Canadian Team Trials, won bronze at the 2021 World Championships. Already this year, she has competed at the Zagreb Open, where she won gold at 55kg and the Senior Pan-American (Pan-Am) Championships, finishing fifth at 53kg.

On the men’s side, Komoka, Ontario’s Adam Thomson will look to defend his senior men’s freestyle 2023 title in one of the deepest weight classes in the country at 74kg. Thomson also recently competed at the 2024 Senior Pan-Am Championships finishing fifth. His 2023 season was highlighted by a bronze medal at the Pan-Am Games. Thomson will also compete at the Championships in men’s Greco-Roman at 77kg.

Other defending champions include, Oyster Bay Bridge, P.E.I.’s Vanessa Keefe who won the senior women’s 72kg title. Keefe also captured a U23 title at 68kg, which is where she will compete at the Championships in 2024, at both the senior and junior age level. Montreal’s Amanda Savard, who won the senior women’s 65kg in 2023, will be moving up also looking for the crown at 68kg. Finally, Montreal’s Virginie Kaze-Gascon, who won 55kg at both the senior and U23 level will look to do it again in 2024.

As for the men, 2023 senior and U23 61kg champion St. Catharines, Ontario’s Garette Saunders will be aiming for a new title in 2024. After finishing second at the 2023 Canadian Team Trials at 57kg, Saunders will look to become national champion in the weight class. Winnipeg’s Connor Church is the final defending champion at the senior level looking for a repeat in the 79kg weight class.

In addition to the competition, there will also be a special WCL Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Joining the Hall as a member of the class of 2024, in the athlete category, will be Dave McKay. The ceremony will take place on March 16 at 6:00 p.m. EST.

Spectators are welcome to attend any of the sessions, wrestling begins at 10 a.m. Thursday-Saturday and 9:30 a.m. on Sunday. Tickets are available at: https://www.tdplace.ca/event/canadian-wrestling-trials/ and at the door. The event will also be streamed on Flowrestling at: https://www.flowrestling.org/.  For complete tournament information visit the tournament site.