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Second Women’s Weight-Class Qualified at Vegas Worlds

September 11, 2015

(Las Vegas, USA) – Through a gutsy performance, Braxton Stone-Papadopoulos, has qualified her 63KG weight-class for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

With qualification on the minds of all competitors, day 4 in Vegas saw a second qualification, hard-fought competitive battles on the mats with four women’s weight-class entries and one men’s freestyle entry. Canadian wrestlers competing included, 2015 Junior World Bronze Medallist and 2015 Pan Am Games Champion Braxton Stone-Papadopoulos (63KG), 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, Michelle Fazzari (58KG) of the Brock Wrestling Club and 2015 Pan Am Games bronze medalist Haislan Garcia (Burnaby Mountain WC).

Fresh off a bronze medal win at the Junior World Championships in Salvador Brazil in August, the 20 year-old Braxton Stone-Papadopoulos started the day with a bye into the round of eight. In her opening bout, Stone-Papadopoulos (63KG) dominantly beat Giedre Blekaityte of Lithuania 14-4. In her next bout, Stone-Papadopoulos was against Yekaterina Larionova (KAZ). Stone-Papadopoulos fought back to win the quarter-final (10-6). With the win, Stone-Papadopoulos qualified the 63KG weight class for Rio. As she pumped her fist in the air after the win, she knew that she had accomplished one goal.

In her semi-final match against Japan, Stone-Papadopoulos lost the bout by fall, but moved on to fight for a medal in the evening’s bronze medal final.

In the bronze medal final, Stone-Papadopoulos met Yulia Tkach Ostapchuk of Ukraine. The Ukrainian wrestler put two points on the board first, and the first period stayed that way until the half. In the second half, with Ostapchuk up by six, Stone-Papadopoulos became more aggressive earning two and then another two points. At 6-4 with 30 seconds to go, another point for her opponent’s cautious wrestling was awarded to Stone-Papadopoulos. In the end the Ukrainian wrestler managed to avoid the Canadian for the final seconds and Stone-Papadopoulos would have to settle for fifth.

After the bout, Women’s National Coach Leigh Vierling spoke about how the entire women’s team came to Vegas to compete and that the ability to win is there.

“When I look at what our women’s team is doing, I am looking at long, hard matches where our physical preparation is on par,” said Vierling. “A lot of the athletes that are standing on the podium here in Vegas have been beaten by our athletes, so its whether or not our technical and mental execution is where it needs to be right now to get the results we deserve.”

In women’s 55KG action, Barrie Ontario’s own Jasmine Mian (Dinos WC) entered the competition with a bye into the round of eight. Mian confidently beat Anna Teresa Zwirydowska of Poland in her opening bout. In the quarter-final Jasmine Mian lost to Irina Ologonova of Russia 4-0. Able to keep competing based on the Russian’s continued performance, Mian made it into the 55KG repechage against the Ukrainian wrestler, good enough to finish ninth overall, but lost the match 8-0.


In the qualification round at 58KG for Michelle Fazzari, down by eight points against Kuk Hyang Ri of North Korea, Fazzari came back to win the match with a pin. In the next round Fazzari faced Olli of Finland but lost the bout 6-0. In repechage action, Fazzari battled against Aisuluu Tynybekova of Kyrgyzstan to stay alive but lost 5-0 and finished ninth overall in her weight class.


In the first of all 2015 Worlds men’s freestyle weight classes, Haislan Garcia, a two-time Olympian, first met Lowe Bingham of Nauru in the 66KG qualification round and looked strong as he won by technical superiority 10-0. In the round of 16, Garcia faced Zaur Efendiev of Serbia and won the bout 4-0. Unfortunately Garcia’s road came to an end here in Vegas in the round of eight where he narrowly lost to George Bucur of Romania (3-2). Garcia finished twelfth out of the 66KG field competitors.


Justina Di Stasio did not advance beyond the women’s 75KG qualification round losing to Vasilisa Marzaliuk Belarus 5-0.

2015_Sr_Worlds_Di Stasio

Moving into two days of men’s freestyle weight classes, on the mats for Canada for day 5 in Vegas are 2015 Pan Am Games Silver Medalist Arjun Gill (97KG) of the Burnaby Mountain Wrestling Club, 2015 Pan Am Games Bronze Medalist at 86KG Tamerlan Tagziev of Team Impact, at 61KG Michael Asselstine (Bears WC) and completing the Vegas Worlds women’s entries; Breanne Graham (60KG) of the Dinos Wrestling Club.