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Five Team Canada wrestlers earn their Olympic tickets to Paris 2024 – Team Canada

Five Team Canada wrestlers earn their Olympic tickets to Paris 2024 – Team Canada

Wrestling canada

Team Canada has qualified its top five wrestlers for Paris 2024.

Justina Di Stasio (76kg), Ana Godinez Gonzalez (62kg) and Hannah Taylor (57kg) all earned their tickets to Paris on Thursday at the Pan American Olympic Qualifiers in Acapulco, Mexico. This will be the first Olympic appearance for all three women. They were followed on Friday by Alex Moore (86kg) and Amar Desi (125kg), who secured their place in the men's freestyle competition. Dhesi will be heading to his second straight Olympics.

Team Canada Paris 2024 Qualifying Tracker

“This is an incredible feeling,” Taylor said after defeating Mexican Alma Valencia Escoto 8-4 in the 57 kg semi-final, which secured her qualification. There are two Olympic spots available for each weight class in the Pan Am Qualifiers.

“When I was younger, I was playing the Olympics on my PlayStation, and I was watching the Olympics and I didn't care what sport it was going to be, I knew my dream was to go to the Olympics. After my first training, my wrestling coach said to me, 'I'll You go to the Olympics.” So, I stuck with it because my dream was to go to the Olympics and he thought I could. Now that this moment has finally arrived, I can't even put it into words.

Godinez Gonzalez competed in the Pan Am Championships last week in an attempt to improve her qualifying ranking, which she did. This strategic decision puts her across the 62kg division from American Kayla Miracle, so she won't have to pass through the two-time world silver medalist to get to Paris. In the semifinals, Godinez Gonzalez defeated Brazil's Lais Nunes for the second week in a row to secure her Olympic berth.

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“Honestly, I have no words. I'm really happy, but this is a feeling I can't explain. I've never felt this accomplished,” Godinez Gonzalez said. “It (the final) was stressful, I made sure I was fully focused and able to get through it.”

The latest Canadian to hit the mat Thursday was Di Stasio, who has her eyes squarely on the one thing missing from an accomplished resume that already includes gold medals at the World Championships, Pan Am Games and Commonwealth Games. The top seed in the 76kg division recorded an 8-4 win in the semifinals to finally earn her first Olympic berth.

“This feels great!” Di Stasio said. “I've been at this for a long time and I've wanted to be in this position for a long time. I told myself I would do anything to win today, and I said throughout training I would do anything to get to the Olympics. So, it's really good that we're heading in the right direction.”

First to book his place on Friday was Moore, who led in the 86kg semifinals by a pair of scoreless points before scoring a final-minute takedown and turning in a pin for the win.

“This is unbelievable. I've been through a lot to get to this point,” Moore said. “Four years ago, I tore my ACL. Then I needed shoulder surgery a week before I wrestled. Even this year, I broke my hand and was in a cast for four weeks. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Overcoming everything and being here, it's a great feeling. I always thought I would go to the Olympics, but to face all the adversity I face, stick with it and now I'm going to the Olympics, I'm an Olympian! It's the greatest feeling in the world.”

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Dhesi was Canada's only returnee from the Tokyo 2020 squad trying to qualify again. He was vastly outclassed in the 125kg semifinals, taking the win 11-0.

“It feels great to qualify for my second Olympics. I want to say a special thank you to my family, friends and especially the coaches who got me here. It may have been a short period, as it has only been three years since the last Olympics, but it still feels like a long journey for me. Now, I'm happy because I'll do it again. Let's go for an Olympic medal!'” Dahsi said.

Those who did not secure Olympic places here will have another chance at the final World Olympic Qualifiers to be held from May 9-12 in Istanbul, Turkey.

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