Verbeek helps Canada top 11 nations


Grimsby’s Tonya Verbeek did her part helping Canada take the number one spot among 12 nations in an Olympic Games preparation tournament.

Verbeek was a gold medal winner in the 55kg division as Canada’s women wrestling team, competing at the international Austria Open, took five medals. The tournament, which has a history of strong participation, had less wrestlers competing this year, however, the quality of the field was no less important than previous editions.

In addition to Verbeek’s performance, three teammates wrestled their way to gold medals: Jessica Macdonald in the 51 kg, Dorothy Yeats in the 67 kg, and Leah Callahan in the 72 kg weight category.

“I set some goals for the tournament and feel like I did a good job of achieving them,” said Verbeek, a two-time Olympian. “I would have liked to face a couple more athletes I will be facing in London, however, I got to make the best of this and I am glad to get four decent matches here.”

Olympic gold medalist Carol Huynh, who was scheduled to participate at the event, pulled out before the event for precautionary measures to heal an injury she had last week in Tokyo.