Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Good Day on the mats, Olympic Weights set to compete

Well it was a good day for a couple of our lads on the mats. Jack Bond took a silver medal in the 66kg weight class (2 W, 1 L), while Promise Mwanga (3 W, 1L) took home a bronze in the 55kg class. Both men wrestled hard and I hope took great pride and pleasure in their Commonwealth Games experience. Congrats to them...

Four of our ladies weighed in this afternoon and now are set to compete tomorrow morning.
At 48kg I assume Carol Huynh will likely garner some CBC coverage for those keen enough to watch back home. Carol will start the tournament with a very lanky Nigerian athlete with Former Olympic gold medalist Daniel Igali in the opposing corner. Carol has looked good in the preparations heading into the Games and has proven a "Games Pro" with Gold medals at the FISU Games, the Pan American Games, and the Olympic Games already on her resume.
At 55kg it is Jillian Gallays (our newest member of our Senior A team) will have a tough morning with two strong vetrans in Edwards of Nigeria (formerly Odohi), and Geeta of India both on her side of the draw. This is precisely the challenge I am excited to see Jill face. The indian press has stated Geeta is a favorite in the weight, and are hoping their women wrestlers can feed off of the success the Greco men started this week. Jill will have to wrestle a smart couple of matches in the morning a task I know she is ready for.
At 63kg Justine Bouchard dominated the Commonwealth Championships in December here in India, yet it was a differengt Indian athlete she wreslted in the final. She definately looks strong entering the tournament and may have a couple of matches that I believe she can use to build momentum prior to facing a solid challenger in the Finals. She will need to be agressive and pursue her opponents the way she did here in December.
Finally at 72kg, Ohenewa Akuffo has come off of her best world championships to date. She has a less experienced opponent in her first match vs Australia, from there it will be the winner of Nigeria and India. On the otherside of draw is the Cameroon athlete who has competed very well over the last two years. She looked strong at the worlds this year and won the Championships tournament we attended in December (Yet akuffo was not in that tournament.

All in all I am glad that all our athletes will face some tough opponents tomorrow. We are likely going to run into Nigeria and india a number of times in the morning, and on paper pose the biggest threat. We want to execute the same no matter who we wrestle though, and not take any opponent lightly. After the success in Beijing there definately is an air of anticipation around Our part of Team Canada (media, support staff, athletes). Our girls in our program have worked extremely hard and are deserving of the respect they have created in and outside of the wrestling community.

Wish us luck!!!
Coach Vierling

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