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Canadian star-studded line-up for Battle at the Falls

(Ottawa, ON – May 17, 2013) Wrestling Canada announced its line-up for the “Battle At The Falls” wrestling event in Niagara Falls on May 31st.The country’s best wrestling –all current Canadian Champions– will be wearing the maple leaf for what promises to be a grandiose event to promote wrestling in this women wrestling event featuring Canada, USA and Ukraine.

The star-studded line-up includes a World Champion, World Medallists, Pan-American Champions and medallists, FISU World Medallists, as well as reigning 2013 Canadian Champions for each of the weight category.

Jessica MacDonald (Windsor, ON/Brock Wrestling Club), who won her first World Championship title in 2012 in Strathcona, Alta, is headlining the crew. MacDonald is at the top of her game, having won the 2013 Pan-American Championships earlier this year.

“I am excited and thrilled to be part of battle of the falls. This is going to be a historical event that shows the true colors of wrestlers. People will witness the fight, perseverance and determination required to win and it will speak volume to our fight to keep wrestling alive in the Olympics,” said MacDonald.

Added MacDonald: “If not for the sheer fun of watching the live wrestling event, guests should come to support the youth of today who are working diligently to make the 2020 Olympic Team. As a Canadian, I am honored once again to be wrestling on home soil and with so many friends, teammates, family and fans watching the event will be a lasting memory.”

Justine Bouchard (Wetaskiwin, AB/Dinos Wrestling Club), a sound and reliable experienced wrestler who won two bronze medals at World Championships, will be wrestling in the 63kg weight class.

“It’s incredibly exciting to have an event aimed specifically to promote our sport. The wresting will be great quality and high caliber. I love doing this sport no matter where I am in the world (as I am currently in Germany) but to get to have a high quality event in our own country makes it even more exciting to me. Wrestling unites! No matter where we come from, we all share the same passion and determination,” said Bouchard.

The line-up is also comprised of up-and-coming wrestling superstar Braxton Papadopoulous (Ajax, ON/Team Impact Wrestling Club), still in her junior years who won both the junior and senior Canadian Championships titles in March, is also to wrestle for Canada in Niagara Falls, in the 59kg weight class.

“We are all extremely excited and thankful to everyone that worked hard to put this event together! All we can do right now is stay positive and proud of our sport and this event is a great way to promote and bring awareness to how amazing wrestling really is” said Papadopoulos, who also won the bronze medal at the 2012 Cadet World Championships. “It has been really encouraging watching Canada and so many other countries working so hard and coming together in the hopes of saving Olympic Wrestling!,”

Canada is sparing no talent for this promotional event. All of the Canadian Champions from 2013 will be wrestling. Natasha Kramble (Saskatoon, SK/Saskatoon Wrestling Club), who took silver at the Pan-American Championships earlier, will wrestle in the 48kg class. Jillian Gallays (Humboldt, SK/Saskatoon Wrestling Club), who was a respectable seventh at the 2010 World Championships, will take on her opponents in the 55kg class.

In the 67kg weight class, Stacie Anaka (Victoria, BC/Burnaby Mountain Wreslting Club) will represent Canada. Anaka is the 2013 Pan-American champion, and a former Bronze medallist at Junior World Championships. Finally, in the 72kg class, 2012 FISU University World Championships silver medallist Erica Weibe (Ottawa, ON/ Dinos Wrestling Club) will suit up for Canada. Weibe is coming off a bronze-medal performance at the 2013 Pan-American Championships.

Recently, the Canadian Women Wrestling Team took the top team prize at the 2013 Pan-American championships, topping the standings among all countries of the Americas. The team will be coached by the highly experienced team comprised of Leigh Vierling, Marty Calder and Tonya Verbeek. A guest coach will also be invited for the event.

“We couldn’t be more proud of Team Canada. We are sparing no talent for this event that aims to promote the sport of wrestling. We are bringing to the mat the best of the best in this country – all our Canadian Champions. We have depth and experience among our ranks, and we hope the people of Canada will enjoy this event,” said Leigh Vierling.

“I also want to take this opportunity to thank Marty Calder and the outstanding crew of people who have unselfishly jumped in to organize this event in such short timelines. Everyone has been stellar in the planning and organizing.”

The rosters for Team USA and Team Ukraine will be announced early next week.

More information can be found at and on Facebook by searching “Battle At The Falls”. You can also follow the event on twitter, at

48kg: Natasha KRAMBLE (Saskatoon, SK/Saskatoon Wrestling Club)
51kg: Jessica MACDONALD (Windsor, ON/Brock Wrestling Club)
55kg: Jillian GALLAYS (Humboldt, SK/Saskatoon Wrestling Club)
59kg: Braxton PAPADOPOULOS (Ajax, ON/Team Impact Wrestling Club)
63kg: Justine BOUCHARD (Wetaskiwin, AB/Dinos Wrestling Club)
67kg: Stacie ANAKA (Victoria, BC/Burnaby Mountain Wreslting Club)
72kg: Erica WIEBE (Ottawa, ON/ Dinos Wrestling Club)

Leigh Vierling, Head Coach, Canadian Women Wrestling Team
Marty Calder, Head Coach, Brock Wrestling Club
Tonya Verbeek, Talent ID Coach, Canadian Wrestling Team
Guest Coach
Surinder Budwal, Medical support

More information can be found at and on Facebook by searching “Battle At The Falls”. You can also follow the event on twitter, at
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