Erica Wiebe wins Olympic gold for Canada in freestyle wrestling

Aug 18 2016, 5:16 pm

Erica Wiebe has won Canada’s fourth gold medal in Rio, winning the Olympic gold medal match in women’s 75 kg freestyle wrestling. Wiebe won the match in convincing fashion, outscoring Guzel Manyurova 6-0. 

Wiebe got on the board first, earning two points 1:33 into the match. At the 3:17 mark, Wiebe extended her lead to 4-0, and at 5:40 she made it 6-0.

The 27-year-old from Stittsville, Ontario never looked to be in danger of losing this match against Manyurova, a 38-year-old three-time Olympic medallist from Kazakhstan.

“I just took it one takedown at a time,” said Wiebe. “I didn’t think about who I was wrestling, I didn’t think about what they were. I just thought about what I needed to do in that moment and I still don’t really believe it.”

This is an incredible ascension to the top of the podium for Wiebe. She did not qualify for the Olympics in 2012, but travelled to London as a training partner to teammate Leah Callahan. She won gold at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, but failed to qualify for the Pan Am Games or the World Championships last year.

“I’m just trying to keep it simple, keep it fun,” said an overjoyed Wiebe. “I’ve never had this much fun wrestling.”

“I love this sport. I never thought I would be an Olympic champion. Today I had my best day.”

This year Wiebe appeared to be in good form, as she came into the Olympics ranked third in her weight class.

Wiebe is the third Canadian to ever win gold in Olympic wrestling, joining Daniel Igali (2000) and Carol Huynh (2008).

This gold medal brings Canada’s gold tally up to four, which is the most gold medals won in a Summer Games by our country since 1992 in Barcelona.

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