Taylor back again at world championships
Much has changed since Hannah Taylor last competed at the senior world wrestling championships in 2019.
That year, she lost her first match 9-1 to a Peoples Republic of Korea wrestler and was eliminated.
“I walked off the mat and I was like ‘Wow. There was nothing I could have done better. She was just levels ahead of me.’ It was kind of a weird feeling because I felt I was ready for the event but looking back I probably was not.”
The 24-year-old Summerside, P.E.I., native is a much better wrestler this time around and will be able to fall back on plenty of experience at the world championships. The seven-time national champion has competed at the cadet, junior and under-23 levels as well as the senior level. She won a pair of bronze medals at the under-23 worlds.
“All of those events have had different outcomes, Twice I made the podium, other times I was single eliminated and other times I had close matches. I feel whatever draw I am given I am ready for all outcomes. Regardless of the outcome, I am going to keep wrestling how I do.”
The three-time USPORTS champion has no specific placement in mind as a goal for the 57-kilogram division at the world championships being held Sept, 10-18 in Belgrade, Serbia.
“I try not to look too much at outcome as opposed to how I wrestle and how I feel when I wrestle. I have been wrestling really well in the room and hopefully that translates on to the mat.”
Taylor has had a busy summer heading into the worlds.
After winning the Canada Cup in Prince Edward Island in July followed by a training camp, the Brock Wrestling Club member went to an international tournament and training camp in Spain where she wrestled an Olympic bronze medalist and a world champion,
“Unfortunately I didn’t make the podium in that one and I lost in the bronze medal match. It was a great experience.”
She then headed to the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England, where she captured a bronze medal.
“That was my first Commonwealth Games and it was great,” said Taylor, who also took part in the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, in 2019.
“It is a very elite Games so the athletes are very well taken care of. I was able to get new glasses and get my eyes checked, I got my teeth cleaned, I got a brand new set of gear and we were treated like celebrities among the staff and volunteers.”
She also enjoyed her time on the mat.
“The competition was awesome and I got to wrestle people I had never wrestled before which is pretty foreign in wrestling because it is a smaller sport.”
After the Games, she went home to train with her boyfriend Ligrit Sidiku, former 57-kilogram Canadian men’s champion in 2020. Then she attended another training camp in Vancouver, B.C., where she got to wrestle some of the other world team members in different weight classes.
“I am enjoying it more and enjoying the process leading up to the events. I used to get burned out pretty easy from wrestling because we would have such high training volume and then a lot of competitions throughout the entire year.”
She is working hard to get ready for the next Olympics.
“I need to close the gap on some of my competitors who have tecked (loss by technical superiority when trailing the match by 10 or more points) me in the past so I can be ready on the world level. That will also translate into beating my opponents here in Canada and making that Olympic spot.”
Getting her butt kicked in the Brock Wrestling room will help in that regard.
“That is why I like Brock. There are a lot of tough people in the room, women and men, that I am able to get beaten up by every single day.”
Brock coach Dave Collie likes where Taylor is heading.
“Since Day 1, she has always been a natural talent and a competitor. She has been consistently working on developing and refining her skills and she’s getting closer and closer.”