Watson Lake’s Laverdure pins spot at world championships

Watson Lake wrestler Brittanee Laverdure has made a very busy summer even busier. Laverdure has been named to Team Canada for the FILA World Wrestling Championships.

Watson Lake wrestler Brittanee Laverdure has made a very busy summer even busier.

Laverdure has been named to Team Canada for the FILA World Wrestling Championships this September in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

She earned a spot on the team for the 55-kilogram weight class with a pair of wins during world team trials in Guelph, Ont., on Friday.

She then stayed in Guelph to compete at the Canada Cup the next day and took gold in the women’s 53-kilogram division.

Laverdure is also set to represent Canada at the Pan-American Championships in Mexico City next week.

The following week she is off to Glasgow, Scotland, for the Commonwealth Games.

“It’s crazy – I just looked at my schedule,” said Laverdure. “I go to Mexico (on Sunday) and I think we’re there until Thursday or Friday, then we come back and I think I’m there for four days and then I go to Scotland … and I’m there for a while.”

She’ll take as much international competition as she can get these days. Laverdure sees it all as preparation for making and then competing at the 2016 Olympic Games, which the 32-year-old sees as her last shot at Olympic glory. She has twice been first-alternate for Canada’s Olympic teams.

Laverdure will compete at 53 kilos at the Pan-American Championships and at 55 kilos at the Commonwealth Games.

“For me it’s another opportunity to go to focus on that goal (of making the Olympics),” said Laverdure. “An opportunity to compete with some of the best in the world.

“That’s why I’m going 53 at Pan-Ams next week, because I won’t get to see those 53-kilogram people at worlds because I’ll be at 55.”

Laverdure went undefeated both days in Guelph. She steamrolled Liisa Wainman 10-0 and then clinched the spot at worlds with a 4-1 win over Brianne Barry.

She was set to face Barry a second time in the Canada Cup final but won by default when Barry forfeited the final to catch a flight to Hungary for the World University Championships.

The world championships in Uzbekistan will be Laverdure’s fourth in her career. She won a bronze at the 2008 world championships in Japan and also took two fifth-place results at worlds in 2007 and 2012.

“They’re going to try to get us acclimatized in Dubai, and then we’ll fly from Dubai to Uzbekistan – but that’s still in the works,” said Laverdure.

Laverdure attempted to make Canada’s worlds team in the 32 kilo class during team trials at the start of May in Calgary, Alta. She placed second and was first-alternate for the team.

Laverdure returned to competition after eight months away following shoulder surgery to win gold in the 53-kilogram weight class at the 2014 Senior National Championships in March. It was her first national title since 2009 when she won in the 55-kilogram class.

Laverdure, who competes out of the Dinos Wrestling Club in Calgary where she is a lawyer, is not the only Yukoner going to the Commonwealth Games.

Fellow Watson Laker Zach Bell is also on Canada’s roster for the quadrennial event. The two-time Olympian will compete at his third Commonwealth Games in both road and track cycling.

Bell won a bronze medal in the scratch race at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India. He took in a fifth place finish at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia.

“I’ve done a couple training camps with the team that’s going, so I’ve been on (the track) but not tons,” Bell told the News in a recent interview. “Obviously I’ve been focusing on the road with my road team this year.”

Contact Tom Patrick at

tomp@yukon-news.com

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