Di Stasio looking for return to podium at World Championships
BURNABY, B.C. – Justina Di Stasio will be looking to return to the podium at the Senior World Championships, but in an unfamiliar weight-class.
Di Stasio, who captured bronze at last year’s Senior World Championships at 75 kg, will be competing at 72 kg this year. The 25-year-old won the World Team Non-Olympic Weight Trials in July.
Her World Championship medal came after pinning Paliha Paliha of China in the bronze medal bout.
Jessica MacDonald and Linda Morais are the two other returning Senior World Championships medallists. MacDonald, of Brock Wrestling Club, captured bronze at the 2013 event, and Morais, of Montreal YMHA, took home bronze at the 2016 championships.
Q&A with Justina Di Stasio
How would you describe your role on the team this year?
I think my role is the same as any year, come in with a good attitude and try my best with a group who is all doing the same.
As the lone returning World Championships medallist from 2017, do you consider yourself one of the team leaders?
Not really, I look up to a lot of the girls on the team and really consider them to be leaders because I grew up in wrestling looking up to them.
Since you’re competing at 72 kg this year, how familiar are you with your opponents in the weight class?
Not familiar at all. I’ve been paying attention to the tournaments and seeing who has been placing but I only really know two. I like to be more familiar with opponents, but on the positive side they won’t know my stuff as well either.
How has your training been going since Non-Olympic Weight Trials?
It’s been going well. I started training with boys at the beginning of 2017, like SFU freshman and high school boys, and that really makes me feel prepared to tournaments because they push me so hard everyday. I did that a lot for worlds last year, so taking the same approach this year.
Are you preparing for the championships any differently than you would if you were at 76 kg?
For the most part everything is similar like mindset and focus wise. I am having to focus more on off mat and diet since the weight class is smaller. But even that is easier now than it was for trials because I’m sitting smaller since I don’t have to eat like I’m wrestling 76. Everything else is normal with training and focusing on the positives of each day. Trying not to get down on myself when things go wrong because the pressure I feel with the expectations I have for myself sometimes makes me feel negative if I don’t have what I consider to be a good practice. But my coaches and teammates are great to put me back in the right frame of mind.
Di Stasio will be competing in the 72 kg qualification rounds on October 23 in Budapest. Read more about the entire Senior World Championships team here.