Just missed podium

Three Is­landers fin­ish fourth at Canada Games

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS -

A trio of Is­landers came fourth in the coun­try Fri­day at the Canada Games wrestling cham­pi­onship in Win­nipeg.

Strat­ford’s Chris­tian Mac­Don­ald, Char­lot­te­town’s Jesse Heartz and Sum­mer­side’s Ben Tan­ton lost their bronze medal matches in their re­spec­tive weight classes late Fri­day night.

Coach Nik Cum­mins hugged each one of them af­ter the matches.

“They made a coach very, very proud of them. Their heart and their will showed on the mat,’’ he said. “My boys were this close. They trained hard. They earned their re­spect.”

Tan­ton lost 5-0 to Que­bec’s Nataël Le­brun Cantin in the up to 60 kilo­gram di­vi­sion.

Bri­tish Columbia’s Juggy Gakhal beat Mac­Don­ald 4-1 in the up to 65 kilo­gram di­vi­sion while B.C.’s Har­bans Gill de­feated Heartz 4-1 in the up to 76 kilo­gram di­vi­sion.

Cum­mins said the com­pe­ti­tion was strong and the Is­land ath­letes com­peted hard for their prov­ince.

“They’re the best in the coun­try and my boys com­peted with them. They’re right close to them, I be­lieve they’re bet­ter. I know they’re bet­ter.”

The Is­landers lost their semi­fi­nal con­test Fri­day morn­ing to put them into the bronze medal match.

“I’m so ex­cited for them,’’ Mac­Don­ald said of his team­mates.

“Every­body from P.E.I. worked re­ally hard and I feel like that’s why we’re here right now. Ev­ery­thing we did lead­ing up to this point has been earned be­cause we work very hard.”

Mac­Don­ald lost 4-0 to Al­berta’s Con­nor McNe­ice, who pre­vi­ously fin­ished fifth at the cadet world cham­pi­onship.

“I am very hum­bled to face some­one like that,’’ said Mac­Don­ald, not­ing he has a photo of McNe­ice. “I was very ex­cited lead­ing into the match be­cause that’s a wrestler that I re­ally look up. He’s a wrestler I base my wrestling off of.”

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