Abbotsford’s Wrestler Gurjot Kooner

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Abbotsford’s Wrestler Gurjot Kooner

Postby Canuck Singh » Tue Jun 17, 2008 7:13 pm

Tuesday, June 17th, 2008
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Gurjot-Kooner.jpg

Abbotsford’s wrestler Gurjot Kooner, who turned 18 just last month, is all pumped up after an amazing raft of successes over the last few years. He told The VOICE this week he wants to represent Canada at the Olympics in 2012 in London when he’ll be 22 – and also at the 2016 Olympics in 2016. That confidence springs from a solid track record in wrestling. Take a look at his wrestling accomplishments just this year:

* BC High School Championships 110 kg 1st
* Western Canada Age Class 115 kg 1st
* Junior (U21) National Freestyle Championships 96 kg 1st
* Junior (U21) National Greco Championships 96 kg 1st
* Juvenile (U19) National Freestyle Championships 100 kg 1st
* Juvenile (U19) National Greco Championships 100 kg 2nd


And his academic performance this year was nothing to shake a stick at: He graduated with honours from Rick Hansen Secondary School (GPA around 86%) where he was with their Hurricanes wrestling team and was offered full scholarship to Concordia University and SFU. He chose SFU.

Yes, he’s serious about his studies, too. He told the VOICE he’s taking math and Punjabi at SFU and wants to teach in high school.

This July, he will be representing Canada at the 2008 Junior World Championships in Istanbul, Turkey, in the 96 kg category. He said his level of confidence is higher than last year when he participated in the championships in Beijing.

Just last February, The VOICE reported how he won at the B.C. high school wrestling championships in Port Alberni in his weight class of 110 kg.

I wrote: “Gurjot Kooner of Hansen’s Grade 12 … won the gold in the 110 kg category by defeating Yakhdan Al-Rekabi of Guildford secondary. The first round was very close, but in the second round Gurjot won 6-0. Yet, Yakhdan had defeated Gurjot in the “War on the Floor” tournament at Simon Fraser University just last December. But a tenacious Gurjot beat Yakhdan in the zone’s qualifying round and then repeated his victory at the B.C. championships.”

It’s that same tenacity and resilience that helped him bag not one but two gold medals at the Junior National Wrestling Championship (20 and under) in Guelph, Ontario, in March. He won in his weight category both in freestyle and Greco-Roman, where you can’t touch your opponent’s legs.

In April, he bagged a gold in freestyle at the High School Wrestling Nationals in Saskatchewan. He also won a silver in the Greco-Roman.

He said his father was also a wrestler and his older brother Inderjot won two national titles (high school and juniors).

His coach, Sucha Singh, the outstanding international-level coach of Abbotsford’s Miri Piri Wrestling Club who also coaches the Rick Hansen secondary school team, is sure proud of him.

So is the community. He’s truly an outstanding role model.

-By Rattan Mall
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