Lappage, Di Stasio advance to finals, Wiebe loses semi at wrestling worlds

By The Canadian Press
October 23, 2018 - 10:45am

BUDAPEST, Hungary — Canadians Danielle Lappage and Justina Di Stasio advanced to the final bout of their competitions at the world wrestling championships, while Olympic champion Erica Wiebe just missed joining them.

Lappage, from Olds, Alta., moved on to the 65-kg gold-medal match with a 11-0 technical superiority victory over Irina Neterba of Azerbaijan on Tuesday.

"It's indescribable, I'm so happy. I haven't been this happy for a long time," Lappage said. "I've been through so much, and I'm so proud that I'm in the finals.

"I've had a lot of injuries. Since 2014 I’ve been out with injuries. It feels good to come back and do it here."

Lappage will face Finland's Petra Ollip in the final on Wednesday.

Lappage led 3-0 at the break, then scored on a takedown and a leg lace to go up 9-0 before winning the bout a short time later.

Di Stasio, from Burnaby, B.C., advanced to the women's 72-kg final with a 6-0 semifinal win over Egypt's Samar Hamza. She said she was inspired by Lappage's win earlier in the day.

"It's crazy, it’s really cool. I think we're all really believing in ourselves," Di Stasio said. "Dan just did it, she gave me all these tingles. I wanted to do it. I was crying when she won, but I had to focus."

The Canadian led 2-0 at the break before sealing the match with two takedowns in the final period.

Di Stasio is wrestling in an unfamiliar weight class after winning bronze at 75 kg last year

"It's a whole new weight class, so I don't know anyone," Di Stasio said. "I'm just wrestling."

Di Stasio will take on Mongolia's Nasanburmaa Ochirbat in the final.

Wiebe, of Stittsville, Ont., who won gold at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, lost a tough semifinal 3-1 to three-time world champion Adeline Gray of the United States in the 76-kg event. Wiebe got on the board first before Gray scored a takedown right before the break. Gray scored another point when the bout resumed for the close victory.

"It's a tough loss," Wiebe said. "It was classic not executing takedowns. That's how it goes when you don't execute.

"I'll go home tonight, refocus, think about what I want to do and get ready to go do it."

Wiebe will face Zsanett Nemeth of Hungary for bronze.

Another medal will be up for grabs Wednesday when Olivia Di Bacco of Orillia, Ont., wrestles in the 68-kg repechage for a chance to compete in the bronze medal bout.

The Canadian Press

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