Canadian wrestler Jessica MacDonald, a member of the Brock Wrestling Club in Beamsville, was crowned world champion in the 51kg division on opening day of the 2012 FILA Women Wrestling World Championships in Strathcona County, near Edmonton
MacDonald, a native of Windsor, joined Dorothy Yeats of Montreal, on Thursday (Sept. 27), to finish on the podium in their respective weight categories. Both Yeats and MacDonald advanced to the gold medal matches in the first day of action and in doing so, both posted career best international results, wrestling in front of a packed and noisy crowd at the Millenium Place multisport facility.
MacDonald made it to the ultimate match of the night, and made a statement in her gold medal dual. She defeated Chinese wrestler Yannan Sun in the gold medal duel to take her first World Championship title.
“Winning this title is pretty unbelievable. It has been my dream for more than 12 years. It’s amazing”, said MacDonald, 27, who improved on her bronze medal performance from the 2011 World Championships in Istanbul, Turkey.
“My preparation for these championships was not much different. I have been training three times a day for I don’t know how many years now. We did break down some things to work on, and it was successful today. I also worked on focus, and keeping calm. “I knew my opponents. I studied them a little bit on tape. My main objective was to be careful, but also on executing. I worked on the offence, went for next move and take down.
”There are so many people to thank, especially my coaches – Marty Calder, Evan MacDonald, Leigh Vierling – they have helped me tremendously. My family and teammates were always supportive and Wrestling Canada as well. Everyone that has helped me with my training have a share of this title. Without their support, I don’t think I could have walked away with the World title tonight.”
Macdonald started the day with a victory (2-1, 7-0) against Zamira Rkahmanova of Russia in the quarter-finals, and then went on to power her way over Kumari Babita of India (6-0, 4-2) in the semi-final for the win and her ticket to the gold medal match.
MacDonald participated for the fifth time at World Championships. She is the two-time reigning Pan-American Champion, and won the bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India.
With regards to what MacDonald’s future looks like, the main theme was progress.
“I am definitively motivated for next Olympics Games in Rio. I am looking forward to improving every day. My goal is to get better and continue to improve. The goal now is to stay on top, to keep progressing. Every year I am taking bigger and bigger leaps”
Yeats, who recently won the World Junior Championships and is the reigning Youth Olympic Games Champion, won the silver medal in the 67kg category in her first appearance at Senior World Championships.
“The Junior World Championships were my goal this season. Today’s silver medal is kind of the icing on the cake. I came here with the mentality of giving it my best shot, and that was good enough to earn me silver.” said Yeats after her medal match. She was defeated by American wrestler Adeline Gray.
Hamilton’s Michelle Fazzari, who was the training partner of Grimsby’s Tonya Verbeek at the 2012 Olympic Games, lost her first match of the day in the 59kg weigh class against Mongolia’s Munkhtuya Tungalag, and did not advance to the repêchage round.