Erica Wiebe wrestles Zhou QuianCredit: United World Wrestling
Credit: United World Wrestling

Erica Wiebe wins gold at the Matteo Pellicone Ranking Series in Italy

Erica Wiebe, the reigning Olympic champion in the 76kg category, clinched the gold medal at the Matteo Pellicone Ranking Series tournament on Thursday evening.

After a difficult 2019 season on the wrestling mat, Wiebe started the Olympic year with a perfect race in Rome, Italy. Wiebe competed against Chinese Zhou Quian in the final, winning the gold 10-0.

To reach the final, Wiebe defeated Venezuelan Andrimar Daniela Lazaro Diaz, German Aline Rotter Focken and the Vasilisa Marzaliuk of Belarus.

Elmira Syzdykona of Kazakhstan and Aline Rotter Focken of Germany rounded out the podium with the bronze medals.

Just before the holidays, the Rio 2016 gold medalist had kept her dream of participating at Tokyo 2020 alive by defeating her rival Justina Di Stasio in the final of the National Wrestling Championships.

Wiebe will have the chance to book her ticket to Tokyo at the continental Olympic qualification tournament held in Ottawa in March.

READ: Tokyo 2020 Team Canada Qualification Tracker

Also in action was 2016 Olympian Danielle Lappage in the under 68 kg category after going through the repechage. She defeated India’s Divya Kakran 12-2 for the bronze.

Linda Morais waves the Canadian flag above her head after winning her match.

Linda Morais of Canada reacts as she won the gold match of the women’s 59kg category against Liubov Ovcharova of Russia during the Wrestling World Championships in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Anvar Ilyasov)

Canada’s final wrestler in medal contention in the repechage was current 57kg world champion and Tokyo 2020 Olympic hopeful Linda Morais. She won the bronze in a landslide 10-0 to American Jenna Burkert.

On Friday, Amar Dhesi won Canada’s lone medal – a bronze in the 128kg. He defeated Hungarian Daniel Ligeti by a score of 8-4.

The next stop on the Ranking Series Tour is in Warsaw, Poland from June 4 to 7.