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BELGRADE, SERBIA – Surrey, B.C.’s Ana Godinez Gonzalez is coming home a World Champion after taking the title at the U23 World Championships in the 62kg weight category. She is joined by Cornwall, PEI’s Hannah Taylor, who won a bronze medal earlier in the day at 57 kg.

Building momentum from an eighth place finish at the 2021 Senior World Championships in Oslo, Norway, (Oct. 2-10) Godinez Gonzalez made short work of her opponents, not allowing any points to be scored through the qualification, quarterfinal and semifinal matches. She defeated Irina Kuznetzova of Kazakhstan with a score of 5-0 in the qualification round, followed by a 6-0 win against Russia’s Anastasiia Parokhina in the quarterfinals. She finished the day strong, dashing local hopes by beating Anna Fabian of Serbia by technical superiority 10-0.

In the final, Godinez Gonzalez had to regroup to face Kateryna Zelenykh, a tough opponent from Ukraine, who won silver at this year’s U23 European Championships and is a 2019 Junior World bronze medallist. Godinez Gonzalez started slow giving up the first points in the match. She pushed through to come from behind and take the match with a 10-7 victory and earn the World Champion title.

“I’m feeling good, but obviously I have lots to improve on. Most of the tournament I kept to my gameplan, but the final didn’t go as planned. I had to push through and figure out a way”, said Godinez Gonzalez. “This medal means a lot and reassures me that I’m going in the right direction.”

The medal is Godinez Gonzalez’s second at the World Championship level. She capture bronze at the 2019 Junior World Championships.

Taylor goes back-and-forth in the bronze medal match

Hannah Taylor is no stranger to this event, having won her first U23 World bronze medal in 2019.

She had a slow start to the tournament yesterday, losing by fall to eventual winner Alina Hrushyna Akobiia of Ukraine. She had to wait on Akobiia’s semifinal match to see if she would enter the repechage. “I wrestled terribly in my first match, and definitely underperformed”, said Taylor.

In the repechage, Taylor came back strong with a 12-1 win by technical superiority over India’s Nitika Nitika. Facing Othelie Hoeie of Norway, a 2021 U23 European Championship bronze medallist, the match went back and forth with Taylor coming out on top with a score of 12-8 take the bronze. “The final match was all over the place, and my coaches and I know it. I wrestled terribly, but I got the job done after battling some adversity the last couple of days,” said Taylor.

“It’s really exciting to bring home a medal for Canada”, added Taylor. “It’s been almost two years since I stepped on the mat and competed because of COVID. So it wasn’t ideal to come to the World Championships without any matches. It was also fun to note that I wrestled my first World Championships in Serbia in 2013 at the cadet age.”

Other Team Canada results

On the women’s side, Windsor, Ontario’s Virginie Kaze-Gascon came just short of a medal at 55kg, falling in the bronze match and finishing 5th; Montreal’s Alexia Sherland was 10th at 72kg; Calgary’s Taylor McPherson placed 13th in 53kg; Saint-Mathias-sur-Richelieu, Quebec’s Erin Rainville was 13th at 59kg; Welland, Ontario’s Samantha Romano finished 14th in 50kg; and Maple Ridge, B.C.’s Miki Rowbottom was 14th at 65kg.

As for the men, the top finish went to Flin Flon, Manitoba’s Hunter Lee who finished seventh at 86kg; Niagara Falls, Ontario’s Richard Deschatelets was 12th at 97kg; Longueuil, Quebec’s Aly Barghout was 12th at 125kg; St. Paul d’Abbotsford, Quebec’s Julien Choquette was 13th at 92kg; Mississauga, Ontario’s Jacob Torres was 21st in 65kg; Montreal’s Jason Luneau was 21st in the 61kg; Calgary’s Logan Sloan was 22nd in 57kg; Ottawa’s Devan Larkin was 24th in 74kg; and Ajax, Ontario’s Trystan Kato was 26th in 70kg.

For more on the U23 World Championships, including full results and to watch any matches from the event visit the UWW tournament site here.

About Wrestling Canada Lutte (WCL)
Wrestling Canada Lutte (WCL) is the national sport governing body for Olympic style wrestling in Canada. Among its responsibilities, the association selects and prepares Canada’s teams that participate in international competitions including Continental Championships, World Championships and major multi-sport Games (i.e. Olympic Games). WCL works with provincial and territorial partners to deliver world-class programs and services to athletes, coaches, and officials to achieve podium success and grow the sport.

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