Stone-Papadopoulos and Doogan capture silver medals at U23 World Championships
Bydgoszcz, Poland – Braxton Stone-Papadopoulos and Gracelynn Doogan each took home a silver medal on the first day of competition for Canadian wrestlers at the U23 World Championships.
The silver was Stone-Papadopoulos’ fourth World Championship medal. The 22-year-old has a silver and bronze from the Junior World Championships in 2015 and 2013, and a Cadet World bronze medal from 2012. The Team Impact wrestler has now competed at ten World Championships.
In her gold medal match, Stone-Papadopoulos was defeated 10-8 by a last-second throw from Japan’s Ayana Gempei. Stone-Papadopoulos was leading with 15 seconds to go before Gempei’s takedown.
Stone-Papadopoulos defeated Finland’s Petra Olli, Germany’s Luzie Manzke and Moa Nygren of Sweden before facing Gempei.
“Wrestling is one of those sports where you have to be prepared for anything, because anything can happen,” said Stone-Papadopoulos. “Today I did a good job staying composed and sticking to the game plan. I didn’t panic throughout the match. I’m proud of myself I feel like I wrestled really well today.”
“The outcome wasn’t my main priority today; my top priority was to go out there and wrestle the best that I could and leave the mat proud of myself and proud of the way that I wrestled.”
Doogan won her first two matches against India’s Pooja Pooja and Ukrainian Anastasiia Shustova by falls, before being defeated by Yasuha Matsuyuki of Japan. The 21-year-old lost by technical superiority 12-2.
“I was hoping to be more aggressive in the final,” said Doogan of Elliot Lake, Ont. “I feel like I wrestled well throughout the day and I’m happy with what I accomplished.”
“Before competition I was feeling the best I have in a while. I wasn’t weighing myself down with expectations. I knew I had put in the work and I was excited to see what I could do.”
Japan swept gold in all four weight classes of the day.
“Going in today the women were really calm and ready to wrestle. We wanted to make sure they took it one match at a time and focus on what they do well and they both did a great job with that,” said Tonya Verbeek, Wrestling Canada Lutte’s International Coach.
“Braxton stayed in a good mindset the entire tournament and stayed composed and stuck to her game plan. Gracelynn battled hard and came back from down 6-1 in her semifinals match.”
“They were well prepared coming into today, their coaches and clubs need to be applauded for that. I’m very proud of how the women set the tone for the week ahead. Two medals from two wrestlers is a huge success for each athlete and Team Canada.”
The Championships is a first for United World Wrestling. The federation is debuting the competition for 18 to 23-year-old athletes in the three Olympic disciplines.
There are three days of competition left at the U23 World Championships. Allyssa Cleaves is Canada’s lone wrestler on Friday. Darthe Capellan gets things started for the men on Saturday, before Dillon Williams, Caleb Rutner, Jevon Balfour and Nishan Randhawa compete on Sunday.
Live streaming and results are available on United World Wrestling’s website: https://unitedworldwrestling.org/event/senior-u23-world-championships
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