July 13, 2013, KAZAN, Russia (Team Canada) (ISN) – Freestyle wrestler Erica Wiebe of Stittsville, Ont., claimed Canada’s 11th podium finish of the 27th Summer Universiade Saturday night with a bronze medal performance in the 72-kilogram weight class.
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Wiebe reached the podium after defeating Gozol Zuova of Azerbaijan with great superiority, 4-0. Earlier in the day, the two-time CIS champion for the University of Calgary Dinos had lost her first bout 5-0 to Russia’s Ekaterina Bukina in the quarter-finals but she was able to qualify for the bronze match through the repechage side of the draw.
“This day was awesome,” said Wiebe, who fought only twice on the day after receiving a bye in the first round. “I had Bukina, a former world medallist and I knew she was going to be really tough. I was heartbroken that I lost, but I knew I was going to come back in the repechage. As soon as my match was over, I refocused and set a goal of leaving with a medal. At the end of those six minutes, I was so happy and relieved to achieve my goal.”
Bukina went on to defeat Brittney Roberts of the United States in the gold medal final. Galina Levchenko of Bulgaria won the second bronze handed out in the weight class.
Wiebe’s resume is impressive. She won gold at the 2011 Commonwealth championships, silver at the 2012 FISU university championships and bronze at the 2013 Pan Am championships, in addition to competing at the junior worlds in both 2008 and 2009. She is also the reigning senior national champion at 72-kg.
“To represent Canada and my university at a major games and win my first international medal at a multisport event was a combination of hard work,” said Wiebe. “All the hard work has finally paid off.”
Another Canadian, Natasha Kramble of Saskatoon, also battled for bronze Saturday. The University of Saskatchewan student missed the podium at 48-kg after losing 4-0 in great superiority to Mariya Livach of Ukraine.
Earlier in the day, the 2013 Pan Am silver medallist and senior national champion pinned Bulgaria’s Pepa Dimitrova to win 5-0, before losing 5-0 to the eventual runner-up Patimat Bagomedova of Azerbaijan. Receiving a second life in the repechage, Kramble was able to defeat Brazil’s Graziela Conceicao in superiority to advance to the third-place affair.
Japan’s Eri Tosaka took the gold in the category, while Bagomedova finished second. Russia’s Valeriya Chepsarakova won the other bronze.
The two other Canadians in action on Saturday, Jill Gallays of Saskatoon (55-kg) and Danielle Lappage, of Olds, Alta. (63-kg), each failed to advance after dropping first round decisions. Gallays lost to Mongolia’s Orkhon Purevdorj, while Lappage was defeated by Japan’s Rio Watari.
Three Canucks will take to the mat Sunday on the second and last day of the women’s wrestling competition, including Diana Ford of Kentville, N.S., in the 51-kg, Elizabeth Milovitch-Sera of Winnipeg in the 59-kg, and Stacie Anaka of Coquitlam, B.C., in the 67-kg.
Women’s wrestling made its FISU Games debut in 2005 in Izmir, Turkey, where Canadian athletes claimed no less than six medals (2-2-2). The sport hadn’t been on the Universiade program since.
ALL-TIME CANADIAN MEDALS IN WRESTLING AT THE UNIVERSIADE:
2005 (Izmir, Turkey): Carol Huynh (48kg Freestyle)
2005 (Izmir, Turkey): Ohenewa Akuffo (72kg Freestyle)
2005 (Izmir, Turkey): Lyndsay Belisle (51kg Freestyle)
2005 (Izmir, Turkey): Tonya Verbeek (55kg Freestyle)
1981 (Bucharest, Romania): Clark Davis (90kg Freestyle)
2013 (Kazan, Russia): Erica Wiebe (72kg Freestyle)
2005 (Izmir, Turkey): Breanne Graham (59kg Freestyle)
2005 (Izmir, Turkey): Stefanie Howorun (67kg Freestyle)