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2003 Commonwealth Wrestling Championships - London, Ontario, Canada





London to Host the 2003 Commonwealth Wrestling Championships


LONDON, ONTARIO, CANADA - Wednesday, January 29, 2003

At a news conference yesterday, with sanctions and support from international, national and provincial wrestling bodies, it was announced that the city of London, Canada will host the 2003 Commonwealth Wrestling Championships. The competition will take place July 5 - 6, 2003 at the new Western Fair Sports Centre with about 14 Commonwealth nations entering teams. Ten of these have already confirmed their attendance. There will be both male and female grapplers for a total of 100 to 140 wrestlers.

The city of London was represented by the deputy mayor, Russ Monteith, who warmly welcomed the chance for London to be a player in this International event; as well, the director of Tourism London, John Winston, was anxious to show how hospitable London could be. The hosting wrestling club, The London-Western Wrestling Club, was well-represented by president Bruce Barran and members of the executive. The chairman of the organizing committee, Rick Finkenzeller, a member of the club executive, and Josip Mrkoci from the executive of the Commonwealth Amateur Wrestling Association rounded out the main speakers.

The honorary co-chairmen for the 2003 Commonwealth Wrestling Championships were revealed during the news conference, they are Peter Michienzi (Commonwealth Games silver medal, 1962; bronze medal, 1966) and Glynn Leyshon (national, Commonwealth & Olympic coach 1976–1980)

Also in attendance were former National wrestling team athletes both from London and from other centers in Ontario. Wayne Brightwell, president of the Guelph wrestling club and himself a one-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist in 1986 gave his support to the venture. His club in Guelph is also hosting the Canada Cup of Wrestling, July 11 and 12, in which the Commonwealth nations will also compete subsequent to the Commonwealth Championships . The brothers Lloyd and Brian Renken, both of whom won medals in the Brisbane Commonwealth Games in 1982, were also in attendance. Ray Takahashi, winner of a gold and silver medal in the Commonwealth Games of 1978 and 1982 respectively, and presently coach of the University of Western Ontario, was also on hand in dual capacity of club coach and executive member. Other former national team members present were Guy Zink of Fergus, and Bill McDonnell of Kitchener.

Major sponsors thus far on board include the Pacific & Western Bank of Canada and its president, Dave Taylor, who present at the conference; Rogers Television who will televise the event and Speith Anderson Inc. who will supply the mats for the competition. In addition to coverage by Rogers Television, the competition will be newsworthy to The London Free Press, NewPL TV and local radio stations, especially CJBK,a sports radio network.

The chief impetus behind the event has been Josip Mrkoci who founded the organization, Commonwealth Amateur Wrestling Association, in 1984 and has worked tirelessly to bring the competition to London. Thanks to his wide-ranging connections he has been able to bring together the following countries for the event; Bangladesh, England, Gambia, India, Namibia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Scotland, Uganda and, of course, Canada. All are united in their desire to have a fair and sporting event in London. The Canadian team, will be represented by Ontario athletes.

Other Nations expected to participate at the 2003 Commonwealth Wrestling Championships but as yet not confirmed are; Australia, Kenya, South Africa and Malta.




Chairman - Executive Committee


Tournament Chairman

Commonwealth Amateur Wrestling Association

London-Western Wrestling Club

2003 Commonwealth Wrestling Championships

 (519) 668-9901

(519) 673-3141

(519) 685-2133




Wrestlers pumped for July

By KATHY RUMLESKI, Free Press Sports Reporter - February /2 /2003



PIN WIN: Western's Terri McNutt, right, battles Sarah Hayes of Kentucky's Cumberland College in a women's 53-kilogram bout during the Western Open wrestling tournament yesterday at Thames Hall.




Josip Mrkoci took advantage of yesterday's UWO Open wrestling meet at Thames Hall to check out the talent and also to promote the Commonwealth wrestling championships this summer in London.


The Londoner, who has been involved in wrestling for close to 40 years, is the chairperson of the Commonwealth Amateur Wrestling Association.


"There's a great deal of interest (about the championships)," Mrkoci said.  Certainly the wrestlers at yesterday's meet are well aware of the Commonwealth championships, which will be held July 5 and 6 at the Western Fair Sports Centre.

London native and Lakehead University wrestler Katie Patroch is setting her sights on the event, which is expected to attract between 100 and 140 wrestlers from more than 10 nations.


"I'm excited. It's a neat opportunity, especially being in London," said Patroch, who won the 61-kilogram class at the UWO Open. "I think I can do it (qualify)."


What's to her advantage is that only Ontario wrestlers will compete for Canada at the championships, although just one athlete per weight class will get that opportunity.  Patroch, who is the national junior champion, said she's ranked in the top two in Ontario currently.


The Saunders grad, who is in her second year at Lakehead, won a bronze medal at last year's Canadian Interuniversity Sport championships and hopes to win gold or silver this year. "I want to up it just one more step to the finals."


Second-year Western wrestler Terri McNutt said she hasn't really thought much about the Commonwealth meet yet. She's concentrating on the university season and is hoping for a national medal. McNutt is ranked second in the CIS in the 53-kilogram class behind former Western wrestler Belinda Chou, who is studying at the University of Manitoba.

"I've had a really good year," said McNutt, who won yesterday's competition, her third meet win this season.

Last year, the Kingston native finished fourth at the Ontario University Athletics championships and her goal is to win it this year.


Western coach Ray Takahashi said he expects McNutt to do well in the provincial and national meets and a Commonwealth birth isn't out of the question. "She's highly ranked in the CIS. I'm hoping that she would be able to. It would be outstanding for us and her," he said. "She's in a tough weight, that's the only thing."


Takahashi is pleased London will be the host of the Commonwealth championships and he expects it to bring a lot of attention to his sport. "It's a really significant event for wrestling and certainly for London. It can only help our sport."

This year's UWO Open, which included wrestlers from the University of New Brunswick, McGill, Muskegon College in Michigan and across Ontario, attracted more wrestlers than normal, with about 130 hitting the mats.


Mrkoci said he's seen a huge increase in the number of females in wrestling. He expects numbers to skyrocket after the 2004 Olympics, where female wrestlers will participate for the first time.









July 5, 2003


London, ON - The Men's Wrestling Team from India proved to be unbeatable in the first day of competition at the 2003 Commonwealth Wrestling Championships. From the 55 kg weight class all the way to the 120 kg class, Indian wrestlers controlled the competition.

In the 84 kg class, Aman Deep from India has not had a point scored on him as he accumulated a 3-0 record.

In the 60 kg class, two Kumars have won each of the two pools and automatically advance to the semi-finals tomorrow. Sushil and Krishan Kumar from India each won their pool with two wins and no losses. In the 66 kg weight, Shokender Tomar and Pawan Kumar repeated the two wins and no losses to advance to the semi-finals in their weight class. Pawan Kumar also has the distinction of not having a point scored against him. India also controls the 55 kg and 96 kg weights.

Only in the 74 kg and 120 kg class does Canada still have hope for gold. Sheldon Francis of Hamilton won two matches and has only had one point scored against him. He beat Klein from Namibia and Whiteford from Australia and will move forward to the semi-finals in his division.

In the 120 kg class, the reigning Commonwealth Games Gold Medalist, Palwinder Singh Cheema, won his match today and will face Canada's Colin Miller, also from the Hamilton Wrestling Club to determine the champion.

On the women's side, Canada can equal India's domination in the men's division. But they have to go through a number of Indian women to do it. Canada has a chance to secure the gold in all seven weight classes.

Of note, in the 55 kg division, Andrea Ross of London won two matches, over Mills from England and Tomar from India to lead her weight class. The match with Tomar was close, but Ross' determination and technique showed through. She will face her teammate from the London-Western Wrestling Club, Terri McNutt, tomorrow. Whilie McNutt lost to Tomar, she beat Mills, giving her an opportunity to match Ross, if she can beat her head to head.

Krista Wells (48 kg) of Kingston, Teresa Piotrowski (51 kg) of Guelph, Katie Patroch (59 kg) of London, Tara Hedican (63 kg) of Guelph, and Megan Dolan (67 kg) of Beamsville, all won a match on Saturday, without a loss, and have a chance to secure the gold.

Head Coach for Canada's women's team, Ray Takahashi, is optimistic about the Canadian women's chances, "we can do what the Indians have done in the mens' division."

There were three sessions of preliminaries on Saturday at the Western Fair Sports Centre. On Sunday the competition continues, with a final preliminary round at 9 am, the bronze medal matches at 1 pm and the finals at 4 pm. Tickets are available at the door.

The 2003 Commonwealth Wrestling Championships features men and women Olympic Freestyle wrestlers, representing 7 countries, on July 5 and 6, 2003 at the Western Fair Sports Centre. These Championships are sanctioned by the Commonwealth Amateur Wrestling Association and hosted by the London Western Wrestling Club.


2003 Commonwealth Wrestling Championships Organizing Committee
Chairman - Rick Finkenzeller
Phone: (519) 685-2133 x2614

Media Liaison - Glenn Yonemitsu
Phone: (519) 673-7397
Fax: (519) 661-4171









July 6, 2003


London, ON - Two training partners battled for gold at the 2003 Commonwealth Wrestling Championships and it was settled by a whisker. University of Calgary Dinosaur wrestler Andrea Ross of London battled Terri McNutt, who is a Western Mustang, for the championship of the Women's 55 kg weight class.

It was a tight match, with Ross building up a 5-0 lead, until McNutt found her opportunity in the second round. McNutt scored four unanswered points on Ross then moved to a pin position with one and a half minutes remaining. McNutt came close, but the officials never signaled a pin and Ross survived, exhausting all of the remaining time. Even though McNutt was on top of Ross at the end, Ross prevailed 5-4.

The Canadian Women really put on a display winning six of seven gold medals. The only silver was Tara Hedican of Guelph, who is the 2003 Pan Am champion and 2001 Junior World champion. Hedican lost to Geetika Jakhar of India, who is the silver medalist from the Asian Wrestling Championships. A key decision by the officials with 12 seconds left, not to award Hedican two points, would have tied the match and may have altered the outcome, and ultimately prevented the Canadian women from sweeping all seven golds.

In the Men's division, India showed their superiority winning all of the seven available gold medals, but they also took four silver medals. The only weight classes where they didn't get the silver, as well as the gold, was where they didn't enter a second wrestler in the weight class. Clearly, the Indian Men dominated the division.

Leading the charge was Palwinder Singh Cheema, who won the 120 kg class in impressive style. While Cheema didn't have many matches, his two wins were dominant. In the gold medal bout, he shot in for double leg takedowns with the speed of a much smaller man. He needed less than two minutes to dispose of his opponent Colin Miller of Hamilton, winning by superiority with a score of 11-1.

Another impressive Indian was Bhagat Singh, who beat Mike Neufeld in the finals. He clearly showed why he was the gold medalist in the World Police Games.

The one disappointment of the afternoonnwas in the 60 kg class, where Sushil Kumar was facing off against Krishan Kumar in an eagerly awaited final. Krishan, who was dominant in the preliminaries, was injured and unable to compete.

Many of the competitors in the 2003 Commonwealth Wrestling Championships will travel up the 401 to Guelph for next week's Canada Cup of Wrestling.

Weight Class Gold Silver Bronze
55 kg Yogeshwar Dutt, IND Kripa Shankar Patel, IND James Macari, CAN
60 kg Sushil Kumar, IND Krishan Kumar, IND Cleo Ncube, CAN
66 kg Shokender Tomar, IND Pawan Kumar, IND Ryan Weicker, CAN
74 kg Sujeet Maan, IND Paul Harrison, CAN Sheldon Francis, CAN
84 kg Anuj Kumar, IND Aman Deep, IND Adam Fera, CAN
96 kg Bhagat Singh, IND Nico Jacobs, NAM Mike Neufeld, CAN
120 kg Palwinder Singh Cheema, IND Colin Miller, CAN Matt Coffey, CAN

Weight Class Gold Silver Bronze
48 kg Krista Wells, CAN Kamini Yadov, IND Sumel, IND
51 kg Teresa Piotrowski, CAN Sasha Smith, CAN Neha Rathi, IND
55 kg Andrea Ross, CAN Alka Tomar, IND Terri McNutt, CAN
59 kg Katie Patroch, CAN Manju, IND Gurmeet Kaur, IND
63 kg Gettika Jakhar, IND Tara Hedican, CAN Amanda Gerhart, CAN
67 kg Megan Dolan, CAN Kiran Sihag, IND Sam Johnson, CAN
72 kg Pam Wilson-Ennismore, CAN Gursaran Preet Kaur, IND -

The Championship bouts will be telecast by Rogers Cable TV, across Ontario, on Sunday July 13, 2003 at 2 pm and rebroadcast on Saturday July 19, 2003 at 8 pm.

The 2003 Commonwealth Wrestling Championships features men and women Olympic Freestyle wrestlers, representing 7 countries, on July 5 and 6, 2003 at the Western Fair Sports Centre. These Championships are sanctioned by the Commonwealth Amateur Wrestling Association and hosted by the London - Western Wrestling Club.


2003 Commonwealth Wrestling Championships Organizing Committee

Chairman - Rick Finkenzeller
Phone: (519) 685-2133 x2614

Media Liaison - Glenn Yonemitsu
Phone: (519) 673-7397
Fax: (519) 661-4171






2003 -  Commonwealth Championships  - Final Results


2003 Commonwealth Championships
July 5 - 6, 2003 - Western Fair Sports Complex
London, Ontario, Canada

Team Standings:

1. India - 70
2. Canada ( Ontario ) - 58
3. Namibia - 27
4. South Africa - 11
5. New Zealand - 7
6. Australia - 6

1. Canada - 69
2. India - 63
3. England - 7

Men's Individual Standings:

55 Kg.
1. Yogeshwar Dutt - India
2. Kirpa Shankar Patel - India
3. Jamie Macari - Canada
4. Frank Mensah - Canada

60 Kg.
1. Sushil Kumar - India
2. Krishan Kuman - India
3. Cleo Ncube - Canada
4. Martin Liddle - New Zealand
5. Ron Boucher - Canada
6. Neels DeJager - S. Africa

66 Kg.
1. Shokender Tomar - India
2. Pawan Kumar - India
3. Ryan Weicker - Canada
4. Chris Prickett - Canada
5. Adrian Maree - S. Africa
6. Stephan LeRoux - Namibia

74 Kg.
1. Sujit Maan - India
2. Paul Harrison - Canada
3. Sheldon Francis - Canada
4. Wynand Jacobs - Namibia
5. Rhys Whiteford - Australia
6. Marco Klein - Namibia

84 Kg.
1. Anuj Kumar - India
2. Aman Deep - India
3. Adam Fera - Canada
4. Vakhtan Kutsiya - Canada
5. Hendrik Jansen - Namibia

96 Kg.
1. Bhagat Singh - India
2. Nico Jacobs - Namibia
3. Mike Neufeld - Canada
4. Victor Sprenger - Canada

120 Kg.
1. Palwinder Singh Cheema - India
2. Colin Miller - Canada
3. Matt Coffey - Canada

Women's Individual Standings:

48 Kg.
1. Krista Wells - Canada
2. Kamini Yadav - India
3. Ms. Sumel - India
4. Stephanie Szmiett - Canada

51 Kg.
1. Teresa Piotrowski - Canada
2. Sasha Smith - Canada
3. Neha Rathi - India

55 Kg.
1. Andrea Ross - Canada
2. Alka Tomar - India
3. Terri McNutt - Canada
4. Joanna Mills - England

59 Kg.
1. Katie Patroch - Canada (Outstanding Wrestler)
2. Ms Manju - India
3. Gurmeet Kaur - India

63 Kg.
1. Geetika Jakhar - India
2. Tara Hedican - Canada
3. Amanda Gerhart - Canada

67 Kg.
1. Megan Dolan - Canada
2. Kiran Sihag - India
3. Sam Johnson - Canada

72 Kg.
1. Pam Wilson - Canada
2. Gursharan Preet Kaur - India