Watson Lake’s Brittanee Laverdure left last week’s world championships with her lowest placing in four appearances, but she’s only more determined to reach her ultimate goal of competing at the Olympics in 2016.
“I’m more inspired after this,” said Laverdure in an email to the News. “I was always working through worlds in my prep, I was conscience of my mental fatigue going forward, I knew it was a process and I see the bigger picture of a four-year cycle.”
“I’m excited going forward,” she added. “I’m upset but not debilitated with a number which although was my place, I do not believe reflects my abilities and my ability to be in the top of my weight class.”
The 32-year-old placed 12th out of 19 in the women’s 55-kilogram weight class at the FILA World Wrestling Championships last Wednesday in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
Laverdure opened the championships with a 6-0 win over the Czech Republic’s Lenka Hockova. She then lost 3-0 to Russia’s Irina Ologonova, who went on to take silver, and 8-4 to Spain’s Karima Sanchez.
“(I was) definitely hoping for a top-five at a minimum,” said Laverdure. “Russia won silver and I can beat her. The way the draws end up is like two mini tournaments, so you never meet the other side, only the finalist if you end up in the final.
“A placement is just a result … a number 12th is not the one I like, but that’s where I ended up.”
Laverdure, who works as a lawyer in Calgary, won silver in the 55-kilogram weight class at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, at the end of July. Her gold medal match against India’s Babita Kumari was cut short when she suffered a compound fracture to her left pinky finger. Though not fully healed, it didn’t bother her in Uzbekistan, she said.
“I taped to my other finger,” said Laverdure. “It’s not ideal, it’s still stiff and sore, but it in itself did not affect my performance. It was simply a small injury I had to adapt to and which gave me grief for a small period of time.
“In life it’s not functioning where it should, but taping in my matches it felt fine.”
Canada’s wrestling team collected 12 medals at the Commonwealth Games, but was held to just one at the worlds.
Saskatoon’s Jillian Gallays defeated Russian Natalya Malysheva 6-2 for the bronze in the women’s 53-kilogram class. Laverdure won silver in the 53-kilogram weight division at the Pan-American Wrestling Championships in Mexico City in the middle of July.
“My teammate at 53 kg, just won a bronze,” said Laverdure. “This is the weight I placed second at nationals… another reason to be excited. 53 kg is the weight I’ll be at next year.”
Laverdure won a bronze at the 2008 world championships in Japan and also took two fifth-place results at worlds in 2007 and 2012.
She has twice been first alternate for Canada’s Olympic team and hopes the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro will be her year.
“I have seen Olympic champs lose, world champs lose, and no-namers win. It was not my greatest placement, but not my worst performance in the sport. The standing is the number at the end of the day. We could wrestle the same tournament today, same draw, same competition and the results everywhere would be different. That’s the sport of wrestling. We don’t seed, and that’s one of the reasons, where you end up is where you end up.”
Laverdure had shoulder surgery last summer and returned to competition after eight months away to win gold in the 53-kilogram weight class at the 2014 Senior National Championships in March.
“Uzbekistan is surprisingly good,” she added. “I had imagined sketchy food, roads and accommodation. Apparently it is still under a sort of dictatorship, there. There is no garbage, the food is good, the roads good, people friendly.”
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