Wiebe and Lappage stamp tickets to Tokyo
OTTAWA – Erica Wiebe and Danielle Lappage will be returning to the Olympic Games.
The duo, who competed together at the Rio 2016 Games stamped their tickets to Tokyo with semifinal wins at the Pan-American Olympic Qualification Tournament in Ottawa.
Wiebe, the reining women’s heavyweight Olympic Champion, defeated Genesis Rosangela Reasco Valdez of Ecuador 6-0 in the 76 kg semifinal.
“This is the first step. I think I have so much more to offer. I’m really excited to put the training in over the next couple of months and be ready for whatever happen in Tokyo,” said the 30-year-old.
Wiebe was competing in her hometown of Ottawa for the first time in over ten years, but spectators were not permitted in the competition venue to reduce the risk of the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
“There’s been a lot of distractions in the world. I know when the whistle blows it’s game time. I love the quietness I feel out on the mats when I compete.”
Lappage, of Olds, Atla., won her semifinal by technical superiority 10-0 over Leonela Aleyda Ayovi Parraga of Ecuador.
“It’s a dream come true. I’ve been thinking about this moment since I got injured in Rio. It’s all been for this moment, it’s unbelievable to think that just happened,” said Lappage, who was injured in warmups at the Rio 2016 Games.
“Erica and I spent a lot of time together. She helped a lot keeping me calm and focusing on wrestling today.”
LAPPAGE CAN? more like LAPPAGE DID#WrestleOttawa pic.twitter.com/awE9ElsVT7
— Wrestling Canada Lutte (@WrestlingCanada) March 14, 2020
Both Wiebe and Lappage train with the Calgary Dinos Wrestling Club.
All six Canadian women made it to the semifinals. Jessie MacDonald, Samantha Stewart, Linda Morais, and Michelle Fazzari lost in their semifinal matchups. All four women won their bronze medal matches to secure six out of six medals on the day.
There will be a last chance Olympic Qualification Tournament later in the year. It was originally scheduled to run April 30 to May 3 in Sofia, Bulgaria, but has been postponed to the beginning of June.
The competition, which spectators are unable to attend, finishes tomorrow with men’s freestyle competition. Six Canadian men will wrestle for Olympic qualification.
57 kg – Ligrit Sadiku
65 kg – Dillon Williams
74 kg – Jasmit Phulka
86 kg – Clayton Pye
97 kg – Jordie Steen
125 kg – Amar Dhesi
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