Canadian wrestlers Wiebe, Fazzari capture gold at event in Rome
Olivia Di Bacco of Orillia, Ont., wins bronze to help Canada claim 3 total medals
The opening day at the Matteo Pellicone Ranking Series wrestling event in Rome saw Canada's competitors claim three medals, including a pair of gold.
Reigning Olympic champion Erica Wiebe dominated opponent Samar Amer Ibrahim Hamza of Egypt 10-0 in the 76-kilogram gold medal match, while fellow Canadian Michelle Fazzari also took home gold in the women's 62-kg division with a 2-1 win over Marianna Sastin of Hungary.
Wiebe, who won gold at the 2016 Olympics, scored in the final moments of the match to secure the medal. The Stittsville, Ont., native previously won bronze at the Outstanding Ukrainian Wrestlers and Coaches Memorial in Ukraine last month.
The 31-year-old booked her ticket to the Tokyo Games at last year's Pan Am Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
"This tournament has some of the best wrestlers in the world," Wiebe said. "It's a good check in on where I'm at in my preparations. I'm still getting the kinks out, but overall, I'm happy with how I wrestled."
WATCH | Olympic-bound Wiebe claims gold medal in Rome:
Fazzari had already beaten Sastin earlier in the day with a 5-3 round-robin win. The Hamilton, Ont., native is aiming to secure her second Olympic berth.
"I think I wrestled pretty well," Fazzari said. "This tournament acted as a good opportunity to find out where we are, what we need to work on, and filling in those gaps. Getting used to the whole process, the warmup, the nerves, and how I feel mentally and physically on the mat."
WATCH | Fazzari takes home gold in 62-kg division:
Olivia Di Bacco of Orillia, Ont., secured a comeback victory against American Alexandria Glaude in their 68-kg bronze medal match, scoring pivotal takedowns in the second half.
Action continues on Saturday with Canadian wrestlers Amar Dhesi, Diana Weicker and Samantha Stewart set to compete. The event contributes towards seeding points at the upcoming Tokyo Olympics.
WATCH | Di Bacco earns bronze with victory over Glaude:
With files from Wrestling Canada Lutte