DiStasio Edges Focken in Paris Preview at the Women’s German Grand Prix

By William May

DORMAGEN, Germany (June 4) – Pan American champ Justina DiSTASIO (CAN) edged 2014 world champion Aline FOCKEN (GER) in the finale of the German Grand Prix of women’s wrestling on Sunday in a bout that could portend more fireworks at the Paris world championships in August.

 “I would love to be in Paris for the world championships, but I have to focus on the Canada Cup (in early July),” Di Stasio said of her upcoming challenge match at 75kg with Rio 2016 gold medalist Erica WIEBE (CAN).

“Wrestling Aline today was exciting. Both of us are athletic and our main attack is the double-leg – that’s why she countered my first attack,” Di Stasio said of her 1-2 first-period deficit.

“But, I was able to stay in the moment, to keep my focus,” she said, adding that it was the key to her comeback and win.

Di Stasio grabbed a 3-2 lead early in the second period off a clean outside single attack, then with the score knotted a 3-3, she added a quick double-leg for the deciding points before surrendering an out-of-bounds point in the final seconds.

Di Stasio’s victory was the fifth for Canada in the gold medal finals at the TSV Sportcenter in Dormagen on Sunday – as all five of Canada’s Pan American champions posted wins, including 2012 world champion Jessica MacDONALD (53kg).

MacDonald, who gave birth to a girl seven months ago, put together a hard-fought 14-11 win over European bronze medalist Nina HEMMER (GER) – a victory she was not entirely satisfied with.

“I made some tactical errors today, so I have to keep training and improving,” said MacDonald, adding “Someday, I want to be able to tell my daughter about this and that there are no limits to what a woman can do – even if she wants to start a family.”

Meanwhile, Rio 2016 bronze medalist Marwa AMRI (TUN) wrapped up her fourth technical fall of the competition with a cross-ankle lock for an early six points and a quick outside-single attack to stop the clock, 10-0, at 1:49 against 2015 junior world bronze medalist Therese PERSSON (SWE).

In the bronze medal bouts, Rio Olympian Patricia BERMUDEZ (ARG) rebounded from a semifinal loss at 48kg on Saturday for a win by fall over Tabatha GRUNEWALD (FRA).

Results of Medal Matches

48kg (16 entries) 
Gold - Alina VUC (ROU) df. Jade PARSON (CAN) by Fall, 1:23 (2-0)
Bronze – Patricia BERMUDEZ (ARG) df. Tabatha GRUNEWALD (FRA) by Fall, 1:50 (4-0) 
Bronze – Julie SABATIE (FRA) df. Laura SCHMITT (GER), 6-0

53kg (14 entries)
Gold – Jessica MacDONALD (CAN) df. Nina HEMMER (GER), 14-11
Bronze – Samantha STEWART (CAN) df. Tatiana DEBIEN (FRA) by TF, 12-2, 5:57 
Bronze – Katsiaryna PICHKOUSKAYA (BLR) df. Hilary HONORINE (FRA) by Fall, 1:16 (2-0)

55kg (13 entries)
Gold – Mathilde RIVIERE (FRA) df. Elena BRUGGER (GER), 7-1
Bronze – Johanna MEIER (GER) df. Jeannie KESSLER (AUT), 9-2 
Bronze – Johanna LINDBORG (SWE) df. Hannah FRANSON (CAN), 7-0

58kg (12 entries)
Gold – Michelle FAZZARI (CAN) df. Laura MERTENS (GER), 8-2 
Bronze – Jowita WRZESIEN (POL) df. Ronja BURO (NOR) by Fall, 1:32 (2-0) 
Bronze – Luisa NIEMESCH (GER) df. Emma JOHANSSON (SWE) by Fall, 1:45 (4-2)

60kg (10 entries)
Gold – Marwa AMRI (TUN) df. Therese PERSSON (SWE) by TF, 10-0, 1:49 
Bronze – Elizaveta SOROKINA (RUS) df. Katarzyna MADROWSKA (POL) by Fall, 4:40 (13-0)
Bronze – Agnieszka KROL (POL) df. Kathrin MATHIS (AUT) by Fall, 5:44 (9-0)

63kg (15 entries)
Gold – Braxton STONE (CAN) df. Henna JOHANSSON (SWE), 8-3
Bronze – Nadine WEINAUGE (GER) df. Natalia KUBATY (POL) by Fall, 1:13 (4-0)
Bronze – Viviane HERDA (GER) df. Kriszta INCE (ROU), 6-1

69kg (8 entries)
Gold – Olivia DiBACCO (CAN) df. Moa NYGREN (SWE) by TF, 11-1, 3:41
Bronze – Danute DOMIKAITYTE (LTU) df. Hedda STRAND (NOR) by TF, 10-0, 4:12
Bronze – Kendra DACHER (FRA) df. Tilda TARNKLEV (SWE) by TF, 10-0, 1 

75kg (10 entries)
Gold – Justina DiSTACIO (CAN) df. Aline FOCKEN (GER), 5-4
Bronze – Maria SELMAIER (GER) df. Francy RADELT (GER) by Fall, 0:34 (4-0)
Bronze – Denise MAKOTA (SWE) df. Natalie FRIDELL (SWE) by Fall, 1:26 (8-0)