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Team Canada at the Zagreb Open

January 09, 2024

There has been little rest for seven of our Canadian Team Trials winners, crowned in mid-December 2023, as they get set to compete at the Zagreb Open, a United World Wrestling Ranking Series Tournament in Croatia later this week, as a tune-up for upcoming Olympic qualification events.

Surrey, B.C.’s Amar Dhesi, 2022 Commonwealth Games Champion and 5th at the 2022 Senior World Championships, returns to the mat in Men’s Freestyle 125 kg following a 16-month hiatus from international competition. Joining him are teammates Coquitlam’s Darthe Capellan at 57kg, 5th at the 2023 Senior Pan American Championships and Abbotsford’s Nishan Randhawa at 97 kg, 2023 Pan American Games Bronze Medalist.

The women’s team will be well represented with Surrey, B.C.’s Godinez Gonzalez sisters, Karla, 5th at the 2023 Senior World Championships and 2022 Senior World Bronze Medalist competing at 53 kg and Ana at 62 kg, 2021 U23 World Champion, 2022 Commonwealth Games Silver Medalist and 5th at the 2022 Senior World Championships. They’re joined by Summerside, PEI’s Hannah Taylor at 57kg, 2023 Pan American Games Silver Medalist, 2022 Commonwealth Games Bronze Medalist, 2021 U23 World Bronze Medalist, and Burnaby, B.C.’s, Justina Di Stasio at 76kg, 2018 Senior World Champion, 2022 Commonwealth Games Champion, 8th at 2023 Senior World Championships.

In Men’s Greco-Roman, Toronto, ON’s Ioannis Narlidis will be the sole representative at 87 kg.

The Ranking Series Tournaments are an opportunity for all competitors to earn ranking / seeding points for their respective Continental Olympic Qualifying Tournaments, the final World Olympic Qualifying Tournament and the Paris Olympic Games. The weight classes are stacked with some of the best wrestlers in the world, where we will witness multiple World Champions and international medalists competing in each of the 18 Olympic weight categories (6 Men’s Freestyle, 6 Women’s Wrestling, 6 Men’s Greco-Roman). While all eyes will be focused on the Olympic weight classes, competition will also include the 12 non-Olympic weight categories (4 in each gender, style).

The Trials winners 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. There is also one more chance for the wrestlers to qualify at the World Olympic Qualifier May 9-12 in Istanbul, Turkiye. Wrestling at the 2024 Olympics is scheduled for Aug. 5-11.

Also joining our Trials winners at the Zagreb Open will be Madison Parks, 50 kg, 2022 Commonwealth Games Silver Medalist and Samantha Stewart, 55 kg, 2021 World Bronze Medalist, both long-time national team members who continue to represent the flag proudly.

Team Canada’s line-up:

  • WW 50 kg – Madison Parks
  • WW 53 kg – Karla Godinez Gonzalez
  • WW 55 kg – Samantha Stewart
  • WW 57 kg – Hannah Taylor
  • WW 62 kg – Ana Godinez Gonzalez
  • WW 76 kg – Justina Di Stasio
  • FS 57 kg – Darthe Capellan
  • FS 97 kg – Nishan Randhawa
  • FS 125 kg – Amar Dhesi
  • GR 87 kg – Ioannis Narlidis

We look forward to watching all of Canada’s wrestlers on their journey to Paris!

The event schedule includes qualification rounds and repechages at 10 AM and finals at 6 PM daily (all local times):

  • Wednesday, January 10, 2024 – FS 57, 61, 65, 70, 74, 86 kg
  • Thursday, January 11, 2024 – FS 79, 92, 97, 125 kg; WW 50, 55 kg
  • Friday, January 12, 2024 – WW 59, 62, 65, 68 kg; GR 77, 87 kg
  • Saturday, January 13, 2024 – WW 53, 57, 72, 76 kg; GR 63, 67 kg
  • Sunday, January 14, 2024 – GR 55, 60, 72, 82, 97, 130 kg

For complete event information, please visit: https://uww.org/events.

Streaming is available on UWW+ at the following link: https://uww.org/uww-plus.