EDMONTON (from Wrestling Canada Lutte) – Erica Wiebe can now celebrate her Commonwealth Games Trials win.
The 2016 Olympic champion had to defeat 2017 World Championships bronze medallist Justina Di Stasio in a wrestle off after Di Stasio pulled out of the Trials in November because of an injury. Both wrestle in the 76 kg weight division.
Wiebe, who trains with the Calgary Dinos Wrestling Club, defeated Di Stasio 3-0 in a mostly defensive bout.
“A wrestle off is a unique situation compared to a tournament or a trials,” Wiebe said. “I enjoy these type of high pressure situations and enjoy the process of preparing to compete and putting it on the line.”
The wrestle off took place hours after Team Canada walked in the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.
“Seeing so many of my friends march in the opening ceremonies a few hours ago was very emotional and exciting, but for me I had to focus on wrestling.”
In her first match of the day, Di Stasio, of Burnaby, B.C., defeated Commonwealth Games Trials runner-up Leah Ferguson 11-0. Di Stasio scored a six-point takedown two and a half minutes into the match.
In 2014, Wiebe won gold at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
“The Commonwealth Games in 2014 was one of my favourite experiences,” said the Stitsville, Ont., native.
“The Games are so unique in that it has able-body and para-athletes competing side-by-side. The village atmosphere is like nothing else. I’m really excited to be on the Gold Coast in such an amazing venue.”
“I’m looking forward to defending my gold medal.”