Defending champion Erica Wiebe wins wrestling gold at Commonwealth Games

Canada's Erica Wiebe, left, celebrates after defeating Nigeria's Blessing Onyebuchi, right on the ground, to win Gold medal in women's FS 76Kg wrestling at the Commonwealth Games on Gold Coast, Australia, Thursday, April 12, 2018. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)

GOLD COAST, Australia - Canadian wrestler Erica Wiebe defended her 76-kilogram Commonwealth Games crown Thursday, defeating Nigeria's Blessing Onyebuchi to win gold.

The 28-year-old from Stittsville, Ont., who also won Olympic gold in Rio, beat opponents from Sierra Leone and England en route to pinning the Nigerian in the freestyle gold-medal match.

"I didn't do my best out there, but I love when I'm down," said Wiebe, who trains out of Calgary. "I love when there is pressure. I always come to play.

"It was great to pin her and put away the match ... I feel great to be a double Commonwealth medallist."

In all, Canada won two gold, a silver and a bronze on the first day of the wrestling competition.

Diana Weicker of St. Catharines, Ont., also won gold in the 53-kilogram Nordic class at the Carrara Sports and Leisure Centre.

"It's my second Commonwealth Games, but only my first time being in the running for medal. I loved it," she said.

Steven Takahashi of London, Ont., took a silver in the 57-kilogram class, losing 15-7 to India's Rahul Aware.

Takahashi's father Ray competed in wrestling at both the 1978 games in Edmonton and 1982 games in Brisbane, Australia. He won gold in 1978 and silver in 1982.

I wanted to come here and get a medal, hopefully to beat my dad ... I really wanted that gold. It's a bittersweet feeling," said Takahashi, who is coached by his father.

And Toronto's Jevon Balfour, a silver medallist four years ago in Glasgow, picked up a bronze with a 14-4 win over Australian Connor Evans in the 74-kilogram class.


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