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Ugoalah and Kumar go into wrestling final

03 August 2002

The finalists for wrestling’s first medal fights have been determined and Canada and India will wrestle for gold on Saturday evening in both the 84kg and 66kg divisions.

Neal Ewers

Neal Ewers on his way to victory

Canada’s Nicholas Ugoalah and Anuj Kumar of India will compete for gold at 84kg after defeating Sinivie Bolitic of Nigeria and England’s Jatinder Singh respectively.

Boltic and Singh will contest the bronze medal.

The 66kg final will pit Ramesh Kumar of India against Neal Ewers of Canada. Kumar beat a clearly disappointed Frank Jessey of Nigeria by a fall in their semi-final, while Ewers came through the repechage before defeating New Zealand’s Ricardo Aryan to go through to the final.

On his semi-final win over Ricardo Aryan, Ewers said: “I thought I was in better shape than him, so I had to push him. Basically I was wrestling myself, I knew that if I could stay focussed I would be alright.”

Ewers was confident about his chances for the final: “With the intensity I am able to generate that should be enough to take my opponent off his game. My attitude is that I will not surrender. You can knock me down but I will keep coming back.”

Aryan said: “This is a big tournament and I didn’t have enough competition or practice coming into it. I had a ten year break from wrestling and only started again before the Sydney Olympics in 2000. It cost me.”

Aryan was happy to take a bronze: “I am originally from Iran where there are five million wrestlers. I will try to think of the top level wrestlers there and hope that will inspire me.”

Elsewhere, Canada’s big guns were in action on the second day of competition, featuring current world champion Guivi Sassaouri and Sydney 2000 Olympic gold medallist Daniel Igali.

Both wrestlers lived up to their reputations, winning their opening elimination pool matches with something to spare.

Other notable performers in session 3 included Samoa’s Faafetai Iutana in the 74kg category, who won by a fall after just 42 seconds over Sujeet Mann of India.

Info News Service/tb/jdc

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