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Carol Huynh now wrestling for bronze at London 2012

Carol Huynh (in blue) will not get a chance to defend her Olympic gold medal (Frank Gunn, The Canadian Press)

Canada's Carol Huynh met her match on the mat and is now wrestling for bronze at London 2012.

The defending Olympic champion, who often uses her quickness to take down opponents, was bested 3-1 by eight-time world champion Hitomi Obara of Japan in the women's 48-kilogram semifinal on Wednesday at ExCel Arena. Obara took control early against Huynh — whose Olympic preparation was limited by a strained medial collateral ligament — by scoring two points in Round 1, first by forcing the 31-year-old Hazelton, B.C., native into touch and then with a hold.

Given the steadily improving depth in women's wrestling, it's not a complete letdown for Canada. The country has a strong team which has won 11 world titles since the 2008 Olympics.

Huynh was unable to register a point until late in the second round, when she took Obara to the mat. Obara was able to play defence for the duration, preventing Huynh from flipping her over to score the points she desperately needed to keep her chance of gold alive.

In the 63-kilogram division, Martine Dugrenier has been called back for a repechage round for the bronze medal.

Dugrenier got the callback by virtue of losing her Round of 16 match to Japan's Kaori Icho, who has reached the final. The Quebecer's still-beating medal hopes rest on beating Sweden's Henna Johansson and then Mongolia's Battsetseg Soronzonbold, who also lost to Icho.

Huynh, 31, had little difficulty winning her first two matches against Vietman's Thi Lua Nguyen and Belarus' Vanesa Kaladzinskaya.

Canada's two-time medallist Tonya Verbeek (55 kg) and University of Calgary Dinos product Leah Callahan (72) compete on Thursday.

Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet.

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