by John Austen
Concordia wrestling coach Victor Zilberman has always been on the leading
edge of inter-university wrestling. With six national championships under
his belt since he took over Concordias program 25 years ago, he
is one of Montreals most successful coaches.
I always wish that this sport received more recognition because
of the great athleticism involved, said Zilberman in an interview once.
I know we dont get the same coverage as hockey and football,
and its a shame, really.
Zilberman says that wrestling is the best sport around and
hes always looking for new recruits to the program.
We were winning all the time in the 80s, and wed like
to get to that point again, he said.
This form of wrestling doesnt get the respect it deserves.
Its great for a persons all-around support and well-being.
Zilbermans charges performed magnificently at the Concordia Invitational
Wrestling championship, held last month at Concordia Gym. The Stingers
mens team won the event with 24 points, two ahead of second-place
Brock University and four up on the University of New Brunswick, which
finished third. The Concordia women settled for seventh place, nine points
behind first-place Memorial College.
Anthony Ronci, a first-year industrial engineering student, took first-place
honours in the 68-kilogram category. Jason Chen, who won bronze at Nationals
in 2000, was second at 72 kg.
Other strong performances
came from Martin Pit Bradley and Sana Kavanagh.
Other schools competing included MWC, McMaster, CLIC, Queens, Black
Bear, CLAC, Vanier, St. Césaire, Hamilton, LAWAC and Western.
Zilberman has been named coach of the year twice in 1984 and 86.
Under his tutelage, Concordia wrestlers have won more than 30 medals at
the CIAU National Championships and on five occasions Concordia athletes
have been named outstanding wrestler at the Nationals.
Zilberman has been a member of the Canadian coaching staff at four Olympic
Games. He has coached Canadian athletes at world championships as well
as at the national and provincial levels.
The wrestling program at Concordia has seen many top-notch athletes go
through their program. Martine Dugrenier, Tamara Medwidsky and Chen have
all recently won medals on the Nationals stage.
Other members of Concordias 2002 team include Christopher Chung,
Martine Dugrenier, Leila El-Kayem, Vahid Farashahi, George Georgiou, Frederic
Koomsaitra, Adreane LEcuyer. The assistant coach is Rob Moore.