Wrestling Canada sending eight, including Nishan Randhawa, to first U23 World Championships

 

Nishan Randhawa
SFU Photo by Ron Hole

WRESTLING Canada will be sending a talented team of eight to the U23 World Championships taking place from November 21 to 26 in Bydgoszcz, Poland.

The Championships will be a first for United World Wrestling. The federation is debuting the competition for 18- to 23-year-old athletes in the three Olympic disciplines.

Team Canada will be led by Jevon Balfour and Braxton Stone-Papadopoulos, who both competed in the Senior World Championship in August.

Balfour is fresh off a Commonwealth Games Trials victory at 74 kg earlier in November. The 22-year-old from Brampton, Ontario, will be looking to build on his international experience that includes a Commonwealth Games silver in 2014, and a Canada Cup gold in 2017.

Stone-Papadopoulos, of Scarborough, Ontario, has an abundance of international experience. The 22-year-old has competed in nine World Championships (three senior, four junior, and two cadet). So far in 2017, Stone-Papadopoulos has wins at the Pan American Championship in Brazil and the Grand Prix of Germany.

“The U23 Worlds offer us the opportunity to get world level competition for our wrestlers,” said Tonya Verbeek, International Coach for Wrestling Canada Lutte. “We see this as a top-level tournament that will help our younger senior athletes work towards their ultimate goal of winning World and Olympic medals.”

“We look forward to these types of experiences in being paramount to developing the next phase of athletes who will be winning medals for Canada at either the 2020 or 2024 Olympic Games. These athletes and their coaches have been working hard over the months to prepare for this competition, and are ready to represent our country proudly.”

Nishan Randhawa will be competing in his second world championship of the year. The 19-year-old from Burnaby finished seventh at the Junior World Championship at 96 kg.

Gracelynn Doogan of Guelph Wrestling Club finished fifth at the Junior World Championship in 2016.

The U23 World Championship will be the last major championship before the new format of two-day competition and same-day weigh-ins comes into effect.

Full team list

WW 53 kg Alyssa Cleaves
63 kg Braxton Stone-Papdopoulos
75 kg Gracelynn Doogan

FS 57 kg Darthe Capellan
65 kg Dillon Williams
70 kg Caleb Rutner
74 kg Jevon Balfour
97 kg Nishan Randhawa

Staff Coach Tonya Verbeek
Coach Dave McKay
Medical Victoria Cleary
Referee Mike Drought
Referee Jason Flinders

Schedule (Bydgoszcz local time)

Tuesday, Nov. 21
Greco-Roman – 71 kg, 75 kg, 85 kg, 98 kg
10 a.m. – Qualification rounds and repechage
5 p.m. – Opening ceremony
6 p.m. – Medal matches

Wednesday, Nov. 22
Greco-Roman – 59 kg, 66 kg, 80 kg, 130 kg
10 a.m. – Qualification rounds and repechage
6 p.m. – Medal matches

Thursday, Nov. 23
Women’s freestyle – 55 kg, 58 kg, 63 kg, 75 kg
10 a.m. – Qualification rounds and repechage
6 p.m. – Medal matches

Friday, Nov. 24
Women’s freestyle – 48 kg, 53 kg, 60 kg, 69 kg
10 a.m. – Qualification rounds and repechage
6 p.m. – Medal matches

Saturday, Nov. 25
Men’s freestyle – 57 kg, 61kg, 86 kg, 125 kg
10 a.m. – Qualification rounds and repechage
6 p.m. – Medal matches

Sunday, Nov. 26
Men’s freestyle – 65 kg, 70 kg, 74 kg, 97 kg
10 a.m. – Qualification rounds and repechage
6 p.m. – Medal matches

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