Well, as usual, some memorable moments for the women on the mat today.
I was going to bed but thought I better come write things down while they are still fresh.
The morning session was okay, both Tonya and Carol progressed through there first two oppenents. They both had slowish starts (I would say), yet got the job done against some physical defensive minded athletes. Justine found herself in a dog fight right off of the bat. the Argentina athlete wrestled a very tough elusive match and ended up beating Justine narrowly. There were opportunities to capitalize yet missed by fractions of a moment here and there. In the end Justine was devistated with the decision. It was a hard fought battle, yet not what she had trained so hard for. The Argentina girl then beat the Cuban the first round of the semi finals, and was leading the match late in the second and was trying to run the cuban to her back on a double to seal the victory but got body locked through (the call could have gone either way as the cuba went straight to her back but she was awarded 3) the argentina girl now down in the second forced an attack, got put on her back and pinned... The Cuban then went onto the final and dominated the USA athlete enroute to the gold medal. What a frustration!
In the finals Carol stepped out against Clarrisa Chun of the USA. A World Champ vs Olympic champ, and the match did not dissapoint! Chun shot on the whistle in the very first round and the scramble that followed was great with Carol eventually sitting on Clarrissa's head and crotch lifting her straight to her back. The american tried to really push the pace through the first round, and some great scrambles turned into no points. With about 15 seconds left Clarissa caught Carol in a beautiful arm throw for three points! Carol was now lossing 3-2 and got up with about 5 seconds left and firemans carried Chun! Chun managed to spin on her head and not go to her back... no points were awarded but it definately should have been at least one. Not worth a protest as it would not have won the round. In the corner Carol quickly refocussed and did not seem phased by the fact chun had stoled the round in the dying seconds. The second round was as entertaining as the first! Both athletes having some good action and failed attacks, yet carol eventually hit a nice high crotch and was trying to finish when chun (always dangerous) almost took it over and picked her to her back... Carol battled back to good position and did NOT pull of the attack and eventually followed it up with a finish out of bounds. There was a great flurry to finish the match. Carol was winning 1-0 And Chun was pressuring when Carol reattacked into Chuns legs... Chun got her legs back and tried to pop Carol over and had it so tight (im not sure how Carol managed to not go over), Chun then shot under Carol on the attack and as they scrambled through the action carol Knee tapped Chun straight to her back and settled ontop looking for the fall. The whole arena erupted (they LOVE Carol here).. I was a little worried they were not going to call the fall as carol held her on her back pretty close for about ten seconds, finally with about two seconds left the fall was confirmed. What a match!!! Carol has now won ever Games she has entered (FISU 2005, Pan Ams 2007, Olympics 2008, Commonwealth 2010, and Pan Ams 2011) quite an amazing feat for an amazing woman!
Tonya's final was just as anticipated and once again was against Helen Marlouis of the US. Tonya beat helen in the finals of the Dave Schultz tourney this past season, and Marlouis had a good Worlds placing fifth at 55kg. The first round was really close between these two... Tonya was unable to get off a clean attack as Marlouis was clamping her up and diving underneath. Tonya was not getting a full sprawl off and had to settle for a stalemate on a few occasions when defensively she is very good at scoring. The first clinch was awarded to Marlouis after the ball draw and she finished Verbeek to the ground. During the break we talked about the need to commit to solid offense and that is exactly what Tonya did. She hit two solid shots, the second one scored and her powerful par tarre was too much! Tonya laced Helen for 6 points and a 7-0 round. The third round started and both athlete struggled to get off a quality attack against each other. There were some very good scrambles, yet no scoring. In the dying seconds Helen hit a leg shot that Tonya countered and caught in a front head lock. Two things played into the final 10 seconds... Tonya had poped Marlouis over on the front head lock in their previous match, and Verbeek was afraid that she may go to the clinch AGAIN. So as time expired she tried her pop over and slipped off of Helen to give up two points. It was very frustrating to watch, yet I understand Tonya did not want to go to the clinch again! Helen was awarded two points and the match. A tough pill to swallow... I felt bad for Tonya, yet she wrestled a tough match (not quite her best, yet she needed a break off of the Worlds and it is hard to wrestle this tourney with a shortened prep).
I was proud of our group as always! Whether our hand gets raised or not, people dont understand how much effort, heart, and soul goes into this damn sport!!! It was Carol's night tonight, yet we are a great team! Julie Healey from the Canadian Olympic Committee was congratulating my later on the performances. I explained to her, I am always proud of our team. All four are capable of winning this tourney (Leah was gold , and Justine silver in Feb at the Pan Am championships). She reminded ME to keep our eye on the Prize in London. She was Team leader with Women's Hockey in 2002. They lost to the american's 8 times heading into the olympic games that year (zero wins)! Yet they still won the gold medal!
After doping control our team had a great evening of laughing and eating steak sandwiches and chocolate shakes (Our support staff had one or two drinks) in the international zone. The day is done, and we competed tough!
Tomorrow our freestylers, hit the mat. It is our "youngster day" for the men! Takahashi starts with Chile, Lue gets USA, and Dinsa has Puerto Rico, the "older man" Adamson has Cuba. I am excited to get to coach and see these guys compete!
K im going to bed!