OTTAWA (CIS) – Canadian Interuniversity Sport, in conjunction with Wrestling Canada, announced Monday the student-athletes who will represent the country in wrestling at the 2013 Summer Universiade in Kazan, Russia.
Wrestling returns to the world university games for the first time since 2005 in Izmir, Turkey, when female wrestlers made their Universiade debut. Male student-athletes had previously competed in the sport in 1973 (Moscow), 1977 (Sofia, Bulgaria) and 1981 (Bucharest, Romania).
The Canadian women made the most of their first-ever FISU Games appearance eight years ago when six of seven team members reached the podium in freestyle events, including gold medals for Carol Huynh (48kg) and Ohenewa Akuffo (72kg), silver for Lyndsay Belisle (51kg) and Tonya Verbeek (55kg), as well as third-place finishes for Breanne Graham (59kg) and Stefanie Howorun (67kg).
Clark Davis, who claimed freestyle silver at 90 kilograms in 1981, remains the lone male wrestler to win a Universiade medal for Canada.
The women’s roster heading to Kazan is comprised of Natasha Kramble of Saskatoon (48kg), Diana Ford of Kentville, N.S. (51 kg), Jillian Gallays of Saskatoon (55kg), Elizabeth Milovitch Sera of Winnipeg, Man. (59kg), Danielle Lappage of Olds, Alta. (63kg), Stacie Anaka of Coquitlam, B.C. (67kg) and Erica Wiebe of Stittsville, 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 of Ottawa (84kg).
All will compete in freestyle events.
On the women’s side, all team members have previously represented Canada on the international stage, with great success.
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 world championships and the 2010 World Cup; Fazzari won a World Cup event at 59kg earlier this year and placed ninth at the 2012 world championships; Lappage captured 63kg gold at the 2010 junior worlds and bronze at the 2012 FISU world university championships; Anaka, who is currently seventh in the FILA world rankings, claimed gold at the 2013 Pan Am championships (67kg), bronze at the 2007 junior worlds (63kg), and placed 12th at 72kg at the 2012 senior worlds and eighth at the 2012 FISU championships; Wiebe won gold at 72kg at the 2011 Commonwealth championships, silver at the 2012 FISU championships, bronze at the 2013 Pan Am championships and also competed at the junior worlds in 2008 and 2009.
Kramble, Gallays and Wiebe are all current senior national champions. At the university level, all team members, with the exception 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 with significant international experience. A CIS gold medallist each of his three years at Western University, he claimed bronze at 55kg at the 2011 Pan Am Games and finished fifth at the 2012 FISU championships. He also captured a senior national title in 2012.
Steen (2013) and Daye-Finley (2011) have also won CIS gold in recent years. Steen was named CIS male rookie of the year for Concordia this past season.
A six-member support staff will accompany the Canadian athletes in Kazan.
Verbeek returns to the Universiade as one of four coaches, along with Owen Dawkins and Shane Bradley. Rounding out the staff are John Dawson (team leader) and Bertrand Bélanger (medical).
Verbeek is the most decorated Canadian wrestler in history with three Olympic medals, including silver in 2004 and 2012, and bronze in 2008. The former Brock University standout now coaches at her alma mater and was recently hired by Wrestling Canada as talent identification coach.
Dawkins is the reigning CIS coach of the year in men’s competition after leading his Alberta Golden Bears to their first national team title since 1972. He was a silver medallist at the 1998 Pan Am championships and barely missed the podium at the 2000 FISU championships, finishing fourth.
The freestyle wrestling competition in Kazan is set for July 11 to 14.
NOTES: Steven Takahashi’s father, Ray, represented Canada in wrestling at the 1976 and 1984 Olympics, the 1982 and 1983 world championships, the 1983 Pan Am Games and the 1978 Commonwealth Games, where he claimed gold in the flyweight division. A fourth-place finisher at the 1984 Olympics, he was inducted into the Canadian Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1991. He is currently at the helm of Western University’s wrestling program, where he coaches his son.
TEAM CANADA ROSTER
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
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
Position Name University Hometown
Bradley Saskatchewan Nanaimo, B.C.
Coach Owen Dawkins Alberta Old Works, Mont.
Coach Tonya Verbeek Brock Grimsby, Ont.
Team Leader John Dawson - Sarnia, Ont.
Medical Bertrand Bélanger - Edmunston, N.B.
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)
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 event that takes place every two years and is second only to the Olympic Games in the number of participating athletes and countries. The Universiade is open to competitors who are at least 17 and less than 28 years of age as of January 1 in the year of the Games. Participants must be full-time students at a post-secondary institution (university, college, CEGEP) or have graduated from a post-secondary institution in the year preceding the event.
About Wrestling Canada
The Canadian Amateur Wrestling Association (Wrestling Canada Lutte) is the national sport governing body for Olympic style wrestling in Canada. The association's role is to encourage and develop the widest participation and highest proficiency in Olympic wrestling in Canada. Through the development of coaches, officials and administrators the association provides leadership to the sport and enables the provincial/territorial affiliates to coordinate programs and activities in their jurisdictions. For more information, visit www.wrestling.ca.
About Canadian Interuniversity Sport
Canadian Interuniversity Sport is the national governing body of university sport in Canada. Every year, 11,000 student-athletes and 700 coaches from 54 universities and four regional associations vie for 21 national championships in 12 different sports. CIS also provides high performance international opportunities for Canadian student-athletes at Winter and Summer Universiades, as well as numerous world university championships. For further information, visit www.cis-sic.ca or follow us on: