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Quotes after Strong Performances in Russia

January 26, 2015

(January 26, 2015) Ottawa – After great results on the weekend for the select women’s team, including gold for Erica Wiebe, and bronze for Yeats and Fazzari, women’s National Coach Leigh Vierling provided his insight on the valuable event experience from the Yarygin Grand Prix in Krasnoyarsk.

Following the event, Vierling said the challenging experience came at the right time.

“Coming to Russia and deviating from our typical winter schedule was the right choice,” said Vierling. “Our girls handled the extreme travel, the time change, and still managed to compete very tough in one of the top tournaments for women.”

The event is another milestone on the road to Rio for this strong team.

“At this point in our quadrennial getting ready for Rio, I felt it is crucial that we step up the challenge for our program,” said the Women’s National Coach. “We trained with Japan in November, will have some training here in Russia, and will train with China next month. We want a true picture of what it is going to take to be on the podium at the World Championships this September in Las Vegas, and next year at the Rio Olympic Games!”

Vierling noted that the event was one that the team members will not soon forget.

“The culture of wrestling here and the appreciation for the sport is tremendous. Our team here had 12 wins and five losses and four out of five made the semifinals which is fantastic,” said Vierling. “In our toughest matches we definitely competed hard, but we often fell just short of executing the way we need to!”

The women’s coach echoed the entire organizations congratulations to Erica Wiebe, who had to battle in all four of her matches to win her much deserved gold medal.

“I am very excited of her approach to her wrestling right now,” said the proud coach.

Erica Wiebe, the now 2015 Yarygin Grand Prix champion at 75 kg spoke of the road to the gold in Russia.

“The atmosphere of the tournament was great. My first match was against the number one Russian in my weight class, Ekaterina Bukina and I knew it was going to be tough,” said the Stittsville, Ontario native. “I pinned her early in the match and kept the momentum moving from there on. I wrestled another Russian next and had a third in the finals. It feels great to come away with the win here against some of the best wrestlers in the world.”

Wiebe leaves Krasnoyarsk with some valuable hardware, fond memories and sites on her goals.

“It is a tough tournament and it is always nice to wrestle in front of a big crowd in a country where wrestling is their hockey,” said Wiebe. “The tournament far exceeded expectations and I hope we can return to Krasnoyarsk again and bring home some more medals as a team. Until then we have some big events coming up and I am very excited for what’s ahead.”