Commonwealth Games: Canadian wrestlers win gold

Birmingham, United Kingdom –

Justina Di Stasio and Nishan Randhawa both won gold medals and led a Canadian wrestling medal win at the Commonwealth Games on Saturday.

Canada also won gold on the distance where Camryn Rogers of Richmond, BC won the women’s hammer throw.

All six wrestlers who competed at Birmingham’s Coventry Arena on Saturday took the podium.

Di Stasio, a 29-year-old from Burnaby, BC, defeated Nigeria’s Hannah Amuchechi Rueben 4-2 and a four-point takedown in the final to win the women’s 76-kilogram division

“She was very strong, but the first two times I pulled her down, I could feel her pulling up,” Di Stasio explained. “She was strong enough to get up, so I left her so I could sneak in.

“But I had to be patient because if I missed, I knew she would know it was coming.”

Di Stasio won a world title in the 72 kg division in Budapest, Hungary in 2018, as well as silver at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto.

“We had a game plan,” said the Canadian on Saturday. “Sometimes I give up the game plan, but in that game I heard my coach say something and I listened to it and I was able to do it, so that was very good.”

Randhawa, from Abbotsford, BC, beat South Africa’s Nicolaas de Lange 6-1 in the back half of their last game to secure a crucial 9-3 win.

“As the game progressed I think I picked up the tempo a bit,” said 24-year-old Randhawa. “Feels great. It’s been a long road and there have been a few injuries along the way.

“We’re finishing strong. Hopefully we can keep that momentum going into the Senior World Championships in Serbia.”

Madison Parks of Brantford, Ontario and Samantha Stewart of Fredericton each took silver in the women’s 50 and 53 kg weight classes.

Darthe Capellan of Surrey, BC and Jasmit Phulka of Abbotsford, BC took bronze medals in the men’s 57 and 74 kg divisions.

Canada finished third in the overall medal count on Saturday with 84 medals, including 22 golds, behind leaders Australia with 154 medals and 54 golds and hosts England with 146 and 50 respectively.

The 2002 Commonwealth Games conclude on Monday.

On the course, Rogers was the only woman to throw over 70 yards in the third round with a winning throw of 74.08. Canadian teammate Jillian Weir from Kingston, Ontario took bronze.

“To be able to come back and get it in the third round…we train for every possible outcome,” Rogers said. “The first pair felt really good. They were just a little bit off. It was great to get it in the third round.

“Now I’m even more excited to come back in four years.”

Ethan Katzberg of Nanaimo, BC, scored a career-best 76.36 meters for a silver medal in the men’s hammer throw.

The rhythmic gymnastics team finished their competition on Saturday with four medals. Carmel Kallemaa led with silver in clubs and bronze in hoop and ribbon.

The 24-year-old from Thornhill, Ontario collected four medals in Birmingham, including gold in the team competition.

“It was just my dream to make it to this competition,” said Kallemaa.

“In the beginning I didn’t even dream of finals. I just thought that I want to make it there. I made it there and I hoped to reach at least one final.

“Reaching three finals and a medal in every event is just amazing. It is definitely one of the best days of my life so far.”

Her Montreal teammate Suzanna Shahbazian, also a team gold winner, claimed a silver medal in the ball final.

A day after winning the women’s one-meter springboard, jumper Mia Vallee of Kirkland, Que., added to her medal tally with a bronze in the synchronized springboard with Margo Erlam of Saskatoon.

Vallee, a silver medalist in the three-meter springboard at this year’s World Championships in Budapest, is taking part in the competition on Sunday.

Canada’s beach volleyball duos Sam Schachter and Daniel Dearing, as well as Melissa Humana-Paredes and Sarah Pavan, won their semifinals on Saturday and qualified for Sunday’s gold medal games.

Schachter and Dearing defeated England brothers Javier and Joaquin Bello 2-1 to secure a final men’s matchup with Australia’s Chris McHugh and Paul Burnett.

2019 World Champions Humana-Paredes and Pavan beat New Zealanders Alice Ziemann and Shauna Polley 2-1.

The Canadians meet Australia’s Taliqua Clancy and Mariafe Artacho del Solar for the title.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on August 6, 2022.