P.E.I.s Nicolaas Verhoeven makes a name for himself in wrestling, just misses winning a medal

Jason Simmonds
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

SLEMON PARK - Nicolaas Verhoeven may have came up short in his attempt to win P.E.I.'s first medal at the 2009 Canada Summer Games, but the Cornwall resident certainly earned respect in the wrestling competition.
"Nicco certainly pushed the base with everybody he was against this week," said P.E.I. coach Bradshaw Campbell of Charlottetown. "He shocked a lot of teams who probably came into the match not expecting that much of a competition."

Nicholaas Verhoeven of Team P.E.I., right, and Mandeep Sanghu of British Columbia fight during their bronze medal bout in 63 kilo Canada Games wrestling Friday in Summerside. Verhoeven lost the bout and the bronze medal. It was P.E.I.'s last chance for a

SLEMON PARK - Nicolaas Verhoeven may have came up short in his attempt to win P.E.I.'s first medal at the 2009 Canada Summer Games, but the Cornwall resident certainly earned respect in the wrestling competition.
"Nicco certainly pushed the base with everybody he was against this week," said P.E.I. coach Bradshaw Campbell of Charlottetown. "He shocked a lot of teams who probably came into the match not expecting that much of a competition."
Verhoeven, 17, who finished fourth overall in the 63-kilogram class, lost his semifinal bout to Ilya Abelev of Ontario by a 5-0 score Friday morning and then was defeated 4-1 in the bronze-medal match by Mandeep Singh Sandhu of British Columbia in the afternoon.
"Really, I would have been satisfied with top six," said Verhoeven. "I wasn't expecting top six, but that was my goal."
Sandhu, who's a Pan Am Games champion and is from Abbotsford, had defeated Verhoeven 5-0 in the team competition Wednesday.
"It's probably unfortunate that Nicco wrestled the B.C. wrestler in the first match of the tournament," said Campbell. "He (Verhoeven) had a little bit of success, had a number of leg attacks that he was successful with, but he was pinned in his first match so that may have played a little part and may have been in his head in this last match.
"He came out and had a number of good attacks. Obviously, the mat time and experience came through for the B.C. wrestler.
"Guys from P.E.I. don't have that mat time that guys from these big centres do - 200 matches a year compared to 20 or 30. But Nicco makes the best of every one of them and that's all you can hope for as a coach."
Sandhu won the match in the second of three two-minute rounds.
"With a spread of six points that ends a round basically (as wrestlers accumulate points for moves during the round)," explained Campbell. "That just means that once that spread is six points or more that determines the winner of the round.
"You win two out of three rounds, or you get a pin, you win the match. That's basically what happened today."
Verhoeven admitted he was intimidated going against Abelev, who's from Ottawa.
"I went in scared against my first opponent, Ilya," said Verhoeven. "Of course everyone knows he's a national champion and is a really good wrestler.
"But everybody can lose and you just have to go out there and give it your best shot."
Verhoeven, who will enter Grade 12 at Bluefield High School next month, said his strong showing at the Canada Games has provided him with an increased incentive to improve.
"I really feel a lot better about wrestling now and it will make me want to continue further on," he said. "I definitely want to try and wrestle in university and we'll have to see after that."
Campbell said work ethic will not be an issue for Verhoeven.
"He's trained more than pretty well anybody here to get to this point," said Campbell. "It's a testament to his hard work and dedication to the sport that he's got to this stage."

Organizations: Pan Am, Bluefield High School, Canada Games

Geographic location: Canada, Cornwall, Charlottetown Ontario British Columbia Abbotsford Ottawa

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page

Comments

Comments