Watson Lake wrestler Brittanee Laverdure played a part in boosting Canada’s women’s wrestling team to fourth at the 2012 Spanish Grand Prix over the weekend in Madrid.
Laverdure placed fourth in the 55-kilogram class while Canadian teammates Justine Bouchard won gold in the 63-kilo class and Jessica MacDonald captured bronze in the 51-kilo class.
Canada finished fourth out of 26 nations. Russia came in first, Poland in second and Spain in third.
All three Canadians defeated their Polish opponents. Bouchard and MacDonald also beat gold-winning Russians in a pair of matches.
Laverdure took two wins and two losses for fourth. The 30-year-old first defeated Poland’s Renata Omilusik before downing Brazil’s Camila Tristao, both in two rounds.
She then lost to Sweden’s Sofia Mattsson and then Tunisia’s Mawra Amri in the bronze medal match.
“She is a good wrestler. I think she’ll medal at the Olympics,” said Laverdure of Amri in a brief email to the News.
Laverdure’s fourth-place finish in Madrid comes a week after winning gold at the Canada Cup in Guelph, Ontario.
Laverdure’s first match at the Canada Cup was against Ontario’s Brianne Barry. When the two faced off at the Canadian championships in March, Lavendure walked away with silver, beating Barry, who took bronze.
Because of those national finishes, the match determined who got the first-alternate spot for Team Canada at the World Wrestling Championships this September in Edmonton. Laverdure took the match, and the first-alternate position, in two rounds.
For the second Olympic Games in a row, Laverdure is first-alternate for Canada’s Olympic team. Laverdure finished second, missing the one available spot at the 2012 Canadian Olympic trials at the University of Winnipeg in December.
Laverdure missed the spot on the Olympic team with a loss to Ontario’s Tonya Verbeek, who also defeated Laverdure for gold at the nationals in March.
The Watson Laker was also first-alternate for the 2008 Beijing Games.
Laverdure is not the only Yukoner heading to the London Olympics on Team Canada.
Fellow Watson Laker Zach Bell is on Canada’s men’s cycling team and will be competing in the omnium track event.
Whitehorse’s Jeane Lassen is an alternate for Canada’s weightlifting team.
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