Mon, September 23, 2013

Huynh leads Canadian wrestling team to London

By QMI Agency


Carol Huynh (left) takes on Jessica MacDonald during the Canadian Olympic wrestling trials at the University of Winnipeg in Winnipeg, Man., Dec. 17, 2011. (JASON HALSTEAD/QMI Agency)

Defending Olympic champion Carol Huynh was one of nine wrestlers named to the Canadian team heading to the 2012 London Games later this month.

The Canadian team, which was announced Wednesday in Guelph, Ont., is short on Olympic experience, with five of the nine wrestlers making their Olympic debut. New Hazelton, B.C.'s Huynh, the gold medalist in the 48-kilogram weight class in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and two-time 55kg medalist Tonya Verbeek of Beamsville, Ont., are the only women with previous experience on the world's biggest stage.

"I feel very privileged and very excited to be able to represent my country again at the Olympic Games with such outstanding teammates," Huynh said. "The last four years since becoming an Olympic champion have gone by so quickly. However, instead of looking at the past, I think it's important at this point in time to focus on the present to be prepared for the future."

Joining Huynh and Verbeek on the women's team are Martine Dugrenier (63kg) of Montreal and Leah Callahan (72kg) of Saint John, N.B.

David Tremblay (55kg) of Montreal, Haislan Garcia (66kg) of New Westminster, B.C., Matthew Gentry (74kg) of Vancouver, Khetag Pliev (96kg) of Toronto and Arjan Bhullar 120kg) of Richmond, B.C., make up the men's team. Gentry and Garcia competed in the Beijing Olympics but finished well out of the medals.

"With the experience I gained in 2008 and my recent successes at international tournaments, I am very excited for the competition, where it is my goal to bring back a medal," Gentry said.

The wrestling competition at the Olympics will be held Aug. 8-12.