Pool winners crowned at 2023 Canadian Team Trials
EDMONTON – The 2023 Canadian Team Trials officially got underway on December 15 from the Saville Community Centre in Edmonton. The day featured the pool portion of the tournament where wrestlers were looking to make their way through their respective brackets and earn a spot in Saturday’s ladder competition.
The women’s 50kg weight class came down to Montreal’s Jade Dufour and Calgary’s Augusta Eve. This one would be all Dufour as she won the match by technical superiority 10-0.
In the women’s 53kg, it was Stoney Creek, Ontario’s Serena Di Benedetto taking on Regina’s Amber Wiebe. Di Benedetto got out to an early lead, but Wiebe scored to cut into the lead. However, that was as close as she got as Di Benedetto went on to win 13-2.
At 57kg it was an all-Calgary battle as Grace Lew faced Tianna Kennett. Kennett took the win in this one by superiority 10-0.
St. Catharines, Ontario’s Jessica Tillmanns faced Mississauga, Ontario’s Kirti Saxena in the final of the 62kg weight class. Tillmanns would win this one by fall to advance to the ladder.
In the women’s 68kg, it was Montreal’s Amanda Savard against Edmonton’s Andrea Franko. Savard got out to an 8-0 lead, but with Franko in a gut wrench she was able to put Savard on her back and score a pin for the win.
Finally, in the women’s 76kg weight class, it was Edmonton’s Vianne Rouleau against Saskatoon’s Myah Phillips. Rouleau got out to a lead with a cross ankle, then then finished it with a takedown and exposure to win by superiority 10-0.
As for the men, in the 57kg weight class, it was Calgary’s Vincent Gov against St. Catharines’ Garette Saunders. After winning an early challenge, Saunders went on to lock Gov in a gut wrench to score multiple exposures and win 10-0.
At 65kg Thunder Bay, Ontario’s Marco Palermo faced St-Lazare, Quebec’s Jason Luneau. This turned out to be the tightest matches of the day. Luneau led 5-2 with less than 10 seconds to go. Palermo scored a two with three seconds to go cutting it to 5-4. Then, with seven hundredths of a second left, Palermo scored a force out to win in dramatic fashion. A failed challenge made the final 6-5.
The deepest field of the pool competition was in the men’s 74kg. A field of 14 was whittled down to Mississauga’s Patrik Leder and Abbotsford, British Columbia’s Jasmit Phulka. An even match early on, Leder took a 3-0 lead to the break. Leder would give up a passivity point but held on to win 3-1.
Thorold, Ontario’s Ignatius Pitt faced Burlington, Ontario’s Ahmed Shamiya at 86kg. After taking an 8-0 lead to the break, Shamiya went on to add one more takedown in the second to finish it 10-0 by superiority.
The men’s 97kg final came down to Montreal’s Frederick Choquette and Brampton, Ontario’s Sarabnoor Lally. Choquette took control of this one from the beginning and won by superiority 10-0.
At 125kg, Niagara Falls, Ontario’s Richard DesChatelets picked up the win after Calgary’s Joseph Duffy was forced to retire due to injury.
Tomorrow, the ladder portion of the competition begins. The pool winner will face the three seed with the winner advancing to face the second seed before the winner of that match challenges the reigning number one in the finals. The finals, which will take place during the evening session, will be a best two out of three match scenario.
Once the winners have been determined, they still need to qualify their respective weight classes internationally to earn their spot at the 2024 Olympics. Their next opportunity will come at the Pan-American Olympic Qualifier Feb. 28- March 1 in Acapulco, Mexico.
Spectators are invited to attend tomorrow’s sessions and can purchase tickets either online or at the door at the Saville Centre. The tournament will also be streamed on Flowrestling.org. For complete tournament information, visit the tournament site.
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