A former Earl Marriott Secondary student is Canada’s first medal winner at 2022 World Wrestling Championships in Serbia.
On Tuesday in Belgrade, EMS grad – and former standout wrestler at Simon Fraser University – Karla Godinez Gonzalez won a bronze medal in the women’s 55-kg division, defeating Moldova’s Mariana Dragutan 6-2, thanks in part to three two-point takedowns in the opening period.
“I think I was fighting with myself a bit. I work really hard but when it comes to competitions, I think I fight with my own thoughts,” Godinez Gonzalez said in a Wrestling Canada news release.
“I want to control every little thing, but I have to just let it go because doing that is how I lost my last match (semifinal). So, I decided to just go for it, and the results happened!”
The medal was the 24-year-old’s third international medal; she also won gold at the Pan-Am Championships and silver at a Grand Prix event in Spain. She also won a pair of collegiate wrestling titles while at SFU.
“(This year) hasn’t sunk in yet. When I think about this I am like ‘wow!’” she said.
“Yes, I wanted the gold but winning the bronze just shows that I am growing and that is a huge deal. I have only been wrestling for six years, so I have to put triple the time in to catch up to these girls. I am constantly working.”
Godinez Gonzalez’s younger sister, Ana, 23, finished fourth in her 62-kg division at worlds, losing the bronze-medal match to China’s Xiaojuan Luo. Like her older sister, Ana also has found international success, most recently at the Commonwealth Games last month in Birmingham, England, where she won silver.