2013 Summer Universiade: Canada looking for more wrestling glory in Kazan

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Erica Wiebe, University of Calgary

Erica Wiebe, University of Calgary

OTTAWA (CIS) – Canadian Interuniversity Sport, inconjunction with Wrestling Canada, announced Monday thestudent-athletes who will represent the country in wrestling at the2013 Summer Universiade in Kazan, Russia.

Summer Universiade website: www.kazan2013.com/en
Team Canada website: http://english.cis-sic.ca/universiade/summer/2013

Wrestling returns to the world university games for the firsttime since 2005 in Izmir, Turkey, when female wrestlers made theirUniversiade debut.

Male student-athletes had previously competed inthe sport in 1973 (Moscow), 1977 (Sofia, Bulgaria) and 1981(Bucharest, Romania).

The Canadian women made the most of their first-ever FISU Gamesappearance eight years ago when six of seven team members reachedthe podium in freestyle events, including gold medals for CarolHuynh (48kg) and Ohenewa Akuffo (72kg), silver for Lyndsay Belisle(51kg) and Tonya Verbeek (55kg), as well as third-place finishesfor Breanne Graham (59kg) and Stefanie Howorun (67kg).

Clark Davis, who claimed freestyle silver at 90 kilograms in1981, remains the lone male wrestler to win a Universiade medal forCanada.

The women’s roster heading to Kazan is comprised ofNatasha Kramble of Saskatoon (48kg), Diana Ford of Kentville, N.S.(51 kg), Jillian Gallays of Saskatoon (55kg), Elizabeth MilovitchSera of Winnipeg, Man. (59kg), Danielle Lappage of Olds, Alta.(63kg), Stacie Anaka of Coquitlam, B.C. (67kg) and Erica Wiebe ofStittsville, Ont. (72 kg).

The men’s lineup includes Steven Takahashi of London, Ont.(55kg), Mike Asselstine of Edmonton (60kg), Brian Hutton of Calgary(66kg), Shawn Daye-Finley of Halifax (74kg) and Jordan Steen ofOttawa (84kg).

All will compete in freestyle events.

On the women’s side, all team members have previouslyrepresented Canada on the international stage, with greatsuccess.

Kramble won silver at 48kg at the 2013 Pan Am championships;Ford placed ninth at 51kg at the 2009 junior world championships;Gallays finished eighth at 55kg at both the 2008 worldchampionships and the 2010 World Cup; Fazzari won a World Cup eventat 59kg earlier this year and placed ninth at the 2012 worldchampionships; Lappage captured 63kg gold at the 2010 junior worldsand bronze at the 2012 FISU world university championships; Anaka,who is currently seventh in the FILA world rankings, claimed goldat the 2013 Pan Am championships (67kg), bronze at the 2007 juniorworlds (63kg), and placed 12th at 72kg at the 2012 senior worldsand eighth at the 2012 FISU championships; Wiebe won gold at 72kgat the 2011 Commonwealth championships, silver at the 2012 FISUchampionships, bronze at the 2013 Pan Am championships and alsocompeted at the junior worlds in 2008 and 2009.

Kramble, Gallays and Wiebe are all current senior nationalchampions. At the university level, all team members, with theexception of Kramble, have won CIS gold over their career,including each of the past three seasons for Ford.

On the men’s side, Takahashi is the only athlete withsignificant international experience. A CIS gold medallist each ofhis three years at Western University, he claimed bronze at 55kg atthe 2011 Pan Am Games and finished fifth at the 2012 FISUchampionships. He also captured a senior national title in2012.

Steen (2013) and Daye-Finley (2011) have also won CIS gold inrecent years. Steen was named CIS male rookie of the year forConcordia this past season.

A six-member support staff will accompany the Canadian athletesin Kazan.

Verbeek returns to the Universiade as one of four coaches, alongwith Owen Dawkins and Shane Bradley. Rounding out the staff areJohn Dawson (team leader) and Bertrand Bélanger(medical).

Verbeek is the most decorated Canadian wrestler in history withthree Olympic medals, including silver in 2004 and 2012, and bronzein 2008. The former Brock University standout now coaches at heralma mater and was recently hired by Wrestling Canada as talentidentification coach.

Dawkins is the reigning CIS coach of the year in men’scompetition after leading his Alberta Golden Bears to their firstnational team title since 1972. He was a silver medallist at the1998 Pan Am championships and barely missed the podium at the 2000FISU championships, finishing fourth.

The freestyle wrestling competition in Kazan is set for July 11to 14.

NOTES: Steven Takahashi’s father, Ray, represented Canadain wrestling at the 1976 and 1984 Olympics, the 1982 and 1983 worldchampionships, the 1983 Pan Am Games and the 1978 CommonwealthGames, where he claimed gold in the flyweight division. Afourth-place finisher at the 1984 Olympics, he was inducted intothe Canadian Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1991. He is currently at thehelm of Western University’s wrestling program, where hecoaches his son.

TEAM CANADAROSTER

WOMEN

Name University Hometown Category(freestyle)

Natasha Kramble Saskatchewan Saskatoon,Sask. 48 kg
Diana Ford Brock Kentville,N.S. 51 kg
Jillian Gallays Saskatchewan Saskatoon,Sask. 55 kg
Elizabeth Milovitch Sera Concordia Winnipeg,Man. 59 kg
Danielle Lappage Simon Fraser Olds,Alta. 63 kg
Stacie Anaka Simon Fraser Coquitlam,B.C. 67 kg
Erica Wiebe Calgary Stittsville,Ont. 72 kg

MEN

Steven Takahashi Western London,Ont. 55 kg
Mike Asselstine Alberta Edmonton,Alta. 60 kg
Brian Hutton Calgary Calgary,Alta. 66 kg
Shawn Daye-Finley UNB Halifax,N.S. 74 kg
Jordan Steen Concordia Ottawa,Ont. 84 kg

STAFF

Position Name University Hometown

Coach ShaneBradley Saskatchewan Nanaimo, B.C.
Coach OwenDawkins Alberta Old Works, Mont.
Coach TonyaVerbeek Brock Grimsby, Ont.
Team Leader JohnDawson – Sarnia, Ont.
Medical BertrandBélanger – Edmunston, N.B.

ALL-TIMECANADIAN MEDALS IN WRESTLING AT THEUNIVERSIADE:

Gold
2005 (Izmir, Turkey): Carol Huynh (48kg Freestyle)
2005 (Izmir, Turkey): Ohenewa Akuffo (72kg Freestyle)

Silver
2005 (Izmir, Turkey): Lyndsay Belisle (51kg Freestyle)
2005 (Izmir, Turkey): Tonya Verbeek (55kg Freestyle)
1981 (Bucharest, Romania): Clark Davis (90kg Freestyle)

Bronze
2005 (Izmir, Turkey): Breanne Graham (59kg Freestyle)
2005 (Izmir, Turkey): Stefanie Howorun (67kg Freestyle)

About the Summer Universiade

The Summer Universiade is an international multi-sport eventthat takes place every two years and is second only to the OlympicGames in the number of participating athletes and countries. TheUniversiade is open to competitors who are at least 17 and lessthan 28 years of age as of January 1 in the year of the Games.Participants must be full-time students at a post-secondaryinstitution (university, college, CEGEP) or have graduated from apost-secondary institution in the year preceding the event.

About Wrestling Canada

The Canadian Amateur Wrestling Association (Wrestling CanadaLutte) is the national sport governing body for Olympic stylewrestling in Canada. The association’s role is to encourage anddevelop the widest participation and highest proficiency in Olympicwrestling in Canada. Through the development of coaches, officialsand administrators the association provides leadership to the sportand enables the provincial/territorial affiliates to coordinateprograms and activities in their jurisdictions. For moreinformation, visit www.wrestling.ca.

About Canadian Interuniversity Sport

Canadian Interuniversity Sport is the national governing body ofuniversity sport in Canada. Every year, 11,000 student-athletes and700 coaches from 54 universities and four regional associations viefor 21 national championships in 12 different sports. CIS alsoprovides high performance international opportunities for Canadianstudent-athletes at Winter and Summer Universiades, as well asnumerous world university championships. For further information,visit www.cis-sic.ca or followus on:

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/CIS_SIC
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/cissports
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/universitysport

-CIS-

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