Karla Godinez Gonzalez wins Canada’s first medal at 2022 Senior World Championships
BELGRADE, SERBIA – Karla Godinez Gonzalez capped off a strong showing at the 2022 Senior World Championships with a bronze medal in the women’s 55kg weight class, September 13 in Belgrade, Serbia.
Godinez Gonzalez, from Coquitlam, B.C. and Burnaby Mountain Wrestling Club, faced off with Moldova’s Mariana Dragutan in the bronze medal match. Godinez Gonzalez got out to a great start with three two-point takedowns in the opening period. That gave her a 6-2 lead at the break. However, Godinez Gonzalez felt something in her knee and had to be conservative for the second period. Despite that, she adapted well and was able to hang on for the 6-2 win, securing her first World Championship medal.
“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. 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!”
This is the third international medal for Godinez Gonzalez in 2022 after capturing gold at the Pan-American Championships and silver at the Grand Prix of Spain. She went on to talk about the success she has had this year. “(This year) hasn’t sunk in yet. When I think about this I am like ‘wow!’ 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.”
Road to the bronze
Godinez Gonzalez opened the tournament against Shokhida Akhmedova of Uzbekistan in the round of 16 and earned a win by points 5-2.
That sent her to the quarterfinal against Andreea Ana of Romania. It was a tightly contested match with Godinez Gonzalez pulling out the 2-1 win.
Her quarterfinal win earned her a semifinal match with Ukrainian Oleksandra Khomenets. Godinez Gonzalez led 1-0 at the break but fell behind in the second thanks to a four-point takedown by Khomenets. After the lead was extended to 5-1, Godinez Gonzalez scored a takedown to make it 5-3 but that was as close as she got, and the loss sent her to the bronze medal match.