THREE South Asian wrestlers from B.C. won gold medals at the 2014 Senior and Junior Canadian Championships held last week in Edmonton:
* Arjun Gill (Burnaby Mountain Wrestling Club) won in the 97 kg weight category in the senior championships.
* Parm Dhesi (Burnaby Mountain Wrestling Club) won in the 96 kg weight category in the junior championships.
* Jaskarn Ranu (Burnaby Mountain Wrestling Club) won in the 74 kg weight category in the junior championships.
Others who won medals:
* Nishan Randhawa (Guru Gobind Singh Wrestling Club) won silver in the 84 kg weight category in the junior championships.
* Gurjot Kooner (Burnaby Mountain Wrestling Club) won bronze in the 125 kg category in the senior championships.
Arjun Gill trained with Guru Hargobind Wrestling Club. His coach used to be the famous wrestler Ravi Sodhi, who unfortunately passed away in 2011. Ravi was a national and international wrestling champion who won gold at the 1997 Commonwealth Games. Back in 2010 he said this about Gill: “Arjun is an athletic and explosive wrestler. Success at the junior and senior level will depend on his work ethic over the next few years. He definitely has the skills to do well at 96 kg.” Gill has proved to be consistent.
Both Parm Dhesi and Jaskarn Ranu trained from the Khalsa Wrestling Club. In 2013, Ranu (Lord Tweedsmuir) won gold in the 74 kg weight category at the B.C. high school championships. Parm’s brother, Amar, is also a well-known wrestler, and their dad, Balbir Dhesi, is the head coach of Khalsa Wrestling Club.
Nishan Randhawa is from Guru Gobind Singh Wrestling Club. This year, Randhawa (W J Mouat in Abbotsford) won the gold medal in the 90 kg weight category at the B.C. high school championships. Last year, he won gold in the 78 kg weight category.
Gurjot Singh Kooner won three matches and lost one match. Because Kooner did not wrestle with the silver medalist in the tournament, a match was set between the second place and third place winners to determine the true second place werestler. The match was won by Kooner by forfeit, which makes him the world team alternate.
Kooner trains at the Miri Piri Wrestling Club (head coach Sucha Mann) and the Burnaby Mountain Wrestling Club.
Kooner took second place at the 2012 Senior Canadian National Wrestling Championships. He did not compete at the 2013 National Championships as he was badly injured during training a few months before. He dislocated his ankle and fractured his fibula, which left him off the mats for 6-7 months.
Kooner recently graduated from Simon Fraser University with a Bachelor’s degree. While with the SFU wrestling team, he served as team captain and took bronze at the 2012 National Collegiate Wrestling Association Championships, earning All-American status.
Kooner went to Rick Hansen Secondary in Abbotsford and won two provincial titles. He is also a five-time national champion in the high school and junior divisions.