Morais wins Canada’s second bronze at World Championships
BELGRADE, SERBIA – Linda Morais added to Canada’s medal count on September 15, at the Senior World Championships in Belgrade Serbia, by defeating Nisha Nisha of India for bronze in the women’s 68kg weight class. The medal is Morais’ first at the Worlds since she won gold at 59kg in 2019.
The final began with Nisha scoring a four-point takedown in the opening thirty seconds. Morais responded with a two-point score later in the round to cut the lead to 4-2. She added another shortly after and then turned it into a pin for the win and the medal.
“I have focused on having the mentality of going out there and enjoying myself. I have put a lot of stress and pressure on myself, in the past, especially before Tokyo and I didn’t qualify for the Olympics. Going into this competition, I just wanted to enjoy it,” said Morais. “When I got scored on early, the old me would have panicked but this me just looked to see if I could score and stayed calm.”
This is the second international medal for Morais this year after she took silver at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games. Afterwards, she talked about her strong 2022 results.
“Overall, it was a pretty successful year. I had some struggles early on but at nationals, I went up a couple of weight classes and it has made a world of difference. Not having to worry about the weight cut, or the battle of it, a huge stress in wrestling, is a relief. Then, having new girls to wrestle against is a challenge and I do enjoy a new challenge. So, it has been an enjoyable few months.”
Road to the bronze
Morais opened the tournament in the round of 16 against Meerim Zhumanazarova of Kyrgyzstan. Zhumanazarova got the only point in the first with a force out and then added to her lead in the second with a takedown to make it 3-0. However, Morais came back, she scored a takedown and exposure with 1:45 to go to take a 4-3 lead. They traded exposure points with 30 second to go and then Morais bridged out of a potential pinning predicament. Despite the late scare, she held on for the 6-5 win.
That moved her to the quarterfinal where she squared off with Japan’s Ami Ishii. Ishii scored first but Morais responded with a takedown and exposure and came close to earning a fall. After two more exposures Morais was up 8-2. However, after getting that second exposure, she got caught and Ishii turned it into a pin to take the match.
Ishii would go on to advance to the gold medal match, which meant Morais received another chance through the repechage where she faced Pauline Lecarpentier of France. This was a close match with only passivity points being scored. In the end, it was Morais earning the 2-1 win to advance to the bronze medal match.