Zubin Gatta mines gold at OFSAA
Zubin Gatta is pictured above celebrating his OFSAA gold medal with parents Kekoo and Farah.
Zubin Gatta headed into the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations’ wrestling championships March 2-4 in Sault Ste. Marie on a major roll.
The Grade 9 student at Eden won the Wrestling Ontario provincial championships two weeks before OFSAA and the Ontario Winter Games one week before the high school provincials.
“I went into OFSAA and I was on track to win and then I saw that there was a kid who had cut down from a higher weight class who had beaten me at the beginning of the year,” the Brock Junior Badgers member said. “That got me nervous and that’s who I ended up wrestling in the final.”
Gatta ended up capturing gold in the 38-kilogram division by recording a 14-11 decision over Burhan Ahmad of Turner Fenton.
“In the beginning, it was a little bit rocky and as it went on, I was winning pretty much every part of the match by one or two points.”
Things then got dicey in the last 10 seconds of the match when Ahmad went for a throw.
“I knew it was coming but he still got me on it, but he only got two points,” Zubin said. “There was probably five seconds left and he almost pinned me. I was just holding on until the buzzer went.”
When the buzzer finally sounded, Zubin wasn’t sure he had won.
“It didn’t feel real at all,” he said. “I got up, looked at the (score) clock and just started celebrating.”
The celebration was a long time coming.
“The long-term plan was always OFSAA ever since I was little and now that that’s out of the way, I am not sure what is next. I guess it will be OFSAA next year.”
The OFSAA championship has been near and dear to Zubin forever.
“My siblings wrestled and they were both very good,” he said. “I went to watch their OFSAAs since I was little and, in wrestling, OFSAA is like the world championships.
“It has always been in my mind.”
Other brother Cyrus and older sister Farrantina both won antique bronze (fourth) at OFSAA.
Zubin hasn’t felt the need to rub it in that he has already done better at OFSAA than his siblings. They were unable to come watch him wrestle in the Soo because of work commitments.
Brock junior club coach Heather Sweezey describes Zubin as dedicated, driven and focussed.
“His goal was to win OFSAA and he accomplished it by hard work.”
She felt Zubin had an excellent OFSAA tournament and dominated most of his matches.
“In his tough final, he was down points and on his back and he stayed composed and fought out of it and was able to regain the lead,” she said. “His preparation, mental toughness and dedication resulted in him being OFSAA champion and good things will continue to come in future seasons.”
Zubin has been wrestling with the Brock Junior Badgers member for nine years and was introduced to the sport by his father Kekoo. Kekoo coaches wrestling and competed in high school.
Closing in on OFSAA, Zubin was training twice a day during the week. In the first half of the season, he trained once a day five says a week.
He has always loved the sport.
“There is no one else out there on the mat unlike other sports like basketball or soccer where you have a team to help you,” he said. “In wrestling, it’s only you.”
With the season over and the world shut down by the COVID-19 pandemic, Zubin is still trying to train.
“I am trying to take a bit of a break but I do a workout every morning,” he said. “But there’s no actual wrestling.”