Paul Ragusa here, I am writing todays blog entry for my roommate Leigh, he is currently icing perhaps his broken foot as he had an unfortuate accident is a chair or I should say the chair was ufortuate as it met with a swift kick. We have been sitting here discussng the days events and we are spent. Today was an emotional rollercoaster, with the highest of highs and the lowest if lows. Our day did not start well with a first round loss in 63 kgs. Justine lost a close match against Turkey. Justine out wrestled her Turkish opponent, however the result was not in our favour as we drew the wrong colour in a third round clinch. The Turkish wrestler unfortunately lost her following match knocking Justine out of the competition. Justine was one of out medal hopefuls, however I have complete confidence she will learn from this expereince and will be a world medalist in years to come.
Amanda Gerhart at 59 kg rallied and won her first match against Brazil. Amanda dominated the match and served as a good warm up for her next match against Ukraine. Amanda's match against Ukraine was quite a battle, but ultimately Ukraine's hand was raised in the end as Amanda had dfficulty dealing with her opponents powerful front lock. On a positive note the Ukrainian wrestler went on to the finals, therefore bring Amanda back into the competition. Amanda faced China in her first repechage and had regrouped from her loss to Ukraine. Amanda controlled the match as China could handle Amanda's barrage of leg attacked end the match in two rounds.
Now Tonya Verbeek wrestled a fantastic tournament! She had a rough start against Russia, pushing the Russian wrestler to a thrid round. Tonya won the match in the last 10 seconds with a leg attack, she not only won the match but I'm pretty she gave coach Calder an anurism. He is recovering fine, no need to send flowers. Tonya went on to beat Mongolia, Azerbaijan & Ukraine on her road to the finals to meet arch rival Yoshida of Japan. The match start as deja vu from previous match between the two vetran wrestlers with Yoshida taking control of the first round with numerous leg attacks which seemed virtually unstoppable. The second round seemed more of the same with Yoshida taking a 2 - 0 lead. However, with 10 seconds in left in the round Yoshida attempt another leg attack but this time Tonya defended and scrambling and ultimatel thowing Yoshida with a crotch lift for 2 points winning the round. The crowd errupted and we difinatey had the Turkist home crowd advantage. This may be the first time Yoshida has been in a 3rd round winner takes all situation in years. When the 3rd round started things were definately different. Yoshida pace was slower and more causious, she attempted a couple of leg attacks that had been successful in the first two rounds, Tonya would have none of that as she defended both times. However a phantom point was put on the board as the refs gave Yoshida a point for one of her failed leg attacks. Then history was made as seconds later the ref gave Yoshida another point and giving Tonya a causion for not wrestling. This was unbelievable as I have never seem in call made in a final match before. Especially since Yoshida was the one avoiding wrestling as she was up 1 -0. Nonetheless, the drama continued, Yoshida attempted another leg attack and Tonya did a tremendous job defending and poping Icho to her back by facing her opponet and knocking her off balance making the scoe 2 - 2, or at least we thought. The judge gave no points even though Yoshida was flat her back. Coach Calder threw in the protest cube to a review of the action, and the call was over turned thus making the score 2-2 with 3 seconds on the clock, however because Yoshida received a Caution point Tonya needed to score a 3rd point to win the round. Unfortunately, Tonya lost the match, but there was not a soul in the arena that agreed with the outcome. I never like to talk about whether someone was riped off or not as I believe you created the situation you are in other words create you destiny but this was a complete rip-off and in my books Tonya won that match. However, this part of sport and true champions make no excuses and learn from every loss no matter how it occurs. In essence this is a great psychologoical victory for Tonya as she has made a tremendous breakthrough with this opponent.
Anyways, it is getting very late and tomorrow is another day. This blogging stuffis not easy.
One more day for our women, and our men start tomorrow.
Wish us luck,