Abbotsford wrestler Dhinsa on the cusp of Olympics

At the tender age of 18, Abbotsford's Sunny Dhinsa is just one step away from clinching a berth to next summer's Olympic Games.

After winning the Greco-Roman 120 kg event at the Canadian Olympic qualifying meet on Sunday

At the tender age of 18, Abbotsford wrestling phenom Sunny Dhinsa is just one step away from clinching a berth to next summer’s Olympic Games in London, England.

Dhinsa turned in a stellar performance at the Canadian Olympic qualification event in Winnipeg last weekend – he finished second in the heavyweight (120 kg) freestyle on Saturday before bouncing back with a first-place result in the Greco-Roman discipline on Sunday.

The Greco-Roman victory gives Dhinsa the right to try to qualify for the Olympics on behalf of Canada. He needs a top-two finish at the Pan American Olympic qualifying meet, to be held March 23-25 in Orlando, Fla., to punch his ticket to London.

The funny thing is, heading into the Canadian trials, Dhinsa’s focus was on the freestyle event. He was a definite underdog heading into that final, facing Arjan Bhullar of Richmond, a five-time national heavyweight champ who won gold at the Commonwealth Games in 2010.

Bhullar won the first round, but Dhinsa won the second, forcing a third and deciding round. But the more experienced wrestler pulled out the victory.

“It was just a slight error on my part that cost me that match,” Dhinsa analyzed.

At that point, as Dhinsa puts it, he had to “settle for Greco” – a discipline which forbids holds below the waist. He made the most of his second chance, beating Ottawa’s Devon Nicholson to qualify.

“It wasn’t exactly what I was looking for – I was just a point away from making the freestyle team,” Dhinsa noted. “But either way, I’m on the team.

“Greco is just something I picked up along the way, but I’m getting pretty good at it. I’ll just work at it a little more, and hopefully qualify at the weight and make the Olympics.”

Dhinsa’s performance at the Canadian Olympic trials is all the more impressive considering it came in the midst of his first crack at university-level final exams. The W.J. Mouat Secondary class of 2011 grad is just wrapping up his first semester at Simon Fraser University.

“The teachers were pretty cool about everything,” Dhinsa said with a chuckle, noting that he had to reschedule several of his exams in order to participate at the Olympic meet. “Qualifying for your country for the Olympics is a big thing, so they were pretty supportive.”

Dhinsa is optimistic about his chances at the Pan Am qualifier – he finished second at the Pan Am Games in October, albeit in freestyle.

“Greco shouldn’t be that bad,” he said. “I think I have a pretty good chance.”

One might expect Dhinsa, given his youth, to be wide-eyed at his accomplishments. But the unflappable youngster isn’t fazed in the least.

“I train hard, and when you put in work, you’re going to get something out of it,” he reasoned.

Just Posted

Traffic accident on Highway 1

Hour long backup from Abbotsford to Langley

VIDEO: Abbotsford driver uses aisle of bus for rainy-day cardio routine

Driver makes productive use of his break for an on-board walking session

Candian Grand Masters Fiddle Contest comes to Abbotsford

Event on Saturday, Aug. 24 marks first time the event has been in B.C.

Man pleads guilty to child luring in Abbotsford

Jeremy Roth scheduled for sentencing hearing in November

Man at centre of dropped HIV-disclosure case sues province and 10 cops

Brian Carlisle of Abbotsford says Mission RCMP defamed him and were ‘negligent’ in their investigation

Ethnic media aim to help maintain boost in voting by new Canadians

Statistics Canada says new Canadians made up about one-fifth of the voting population in 2016

Memorial to deceased teen stays in place through Labour Day

Hundreds of tributes have been left at the Walnut Grove skate park

Wife charged in husband’s death in Sechelt

Karin Fischer has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of her husband, Max

B.C. Hydro applies for rare cut in electricity rates next year

Province wrote off $1.1 billion debt to help reverse rate increase

Speculation tax forces sale of Greater Victoria’s iconic ‘Tulip House’

Bob and Jan Fleming selling their retirement home famous for its thousands of tulips

New police force in Surrey must avoid VPD, RCMP errors made in Pickton case: Oppal

Boots are scheduled to be on the ground by spring 2021

Conan turns to the Property Brothers for tips on buying Greenland

Jonathan Scott suggests removing glaciers and mountains to bring in ‘more natural light’

Forests minister visits B.C. town rocked by multiple mill shutdowns

A third of Mackenzie turns out for rally, not much to cheer about

Most Read