Thursday, September 24, 2009

Verbeek and Bouchard reach the Podium

Well a very fruitful last session tonight!
A couple more medals to add to the Canadian Wrestling history books. A few of the evenings matches were very tentative, tactical and safe. I was excited to see our girls commit to wrestling all day long. It is such an absolute pleasure to work with athletes who are coachable, positive, resilient and, above all things, brave. None of the actual champions of the tournament are afraid to go wrestle and compete. If you want to be the best "I believe" that you can't wait for someone to make a mistake or fall down for you. You have to generate scoring opportunities from offence or defence. Our girls trained hard coming into this competition (and more importantly over the years) and they didnt let that effort get wasted by not opening up when the time comes. It is heartbreaking for our team when things dont go the way we want and elating when it does...we have a great team! Congrats to the girls tonight. Also thanks and congratulations to all the training partners, coaches and others that support our team and sport. It was awesome tonight, our ten Canadians sounded like a hundred in the stands!!!
55kg Tonya Verbeek proved why she continues to be one of the best wrestlers in the world. She was the first to commit and hit some very nice attacks. She was able to move back and forth between her double leg and off-side single. Every time Gomis started to expect one shot Tonya changed her attack and caught her off guard. It was great to see that smile and familiar wave to the crowd we've all come to love. She is definitely one of the most respected competitors in Women's wrestling today.
59kg Katie Patroch lost to Vaselenko of Ukraine in the second round by fall. As we expected the Ukrainian worked repeatedly for her front head lock. In both rounds she was able to bring Katie down to the mat with her physical snap downs. Katie started to get a little frustrated as Vaselenko controlled most of the ties and positions and made it difficult to get her offense going. After the match we worked on the situations and talked about the great day she had. Last year 7th with two wins, this year 5th with three wins. Katie's wrestling is definately moving in the right direction. After the tears, a smile came back to her face... She had a great day.
63kg Justine Bouchard pitched a shut out against the Polish wrestler in the bronze medal match. Each round Justine hit a solid attack and kept adjusting right through to the finish. The Polish wrestler is extremely defensive and tactical. So we knew it would take quality, commited attacks to get the job done. Again I was so glad to see our athlete take the action to their opponent. Once she had the lead the Polish girl failed to really threaten any scoring actions and Justine stayed active and aggressive with her hands and actually continued to take attacks. The Polish girl has been on the podium at the Worlds and European Championships a number of times but not this year. It was a fantastic last match to a terrific day.
Tomorrow we are excited to end off the tournament with another great day. Stay tuned...

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