Weicker ready to compete
Much has changed since Diana Weicker made her first appearance at the world senior wrestling championships in 2017.
“I went at a non-Olympic weight class last year (55 kilograms) and I was just coming back into wrestling after obviously having my kids and it was my first breakthrough with being on the world stage and being at the world championships,” the Brock Wrestling Club member said. “I had high hopes for myself, but not high expectations.”
Following a successful year in which she won a Commonwealth Games gold medal and performed well at other international events, the 29-year-old Thorold resident is confident she can be a force at this week’s world championships in Budapest, Hungary.
“If I perform at my very best, I may be in contention to place or get a medal, although, it’s not something that is easily obtained,” the mother of two said.
Now competing in the 53-kilogram Olympic weight class, Brock head coach Marty Calder likes where Weicker is at heading to worlds.
“Her last tournament was in Poland and it was her best one of the year,” he said. “She really showed her ability to compete with everybody there and that was a top level tournament.
“We are really excited about her progress and she looks good heading to worlds.”
Weicker describes herself as a completely different wrestler compared to the 2017 version.
“I have been competing internationally all year and I feel so prepared to be out there now,” she said. “I am ready to compete and I feel comfortable.”
The Nova Scotia native has defeated a number of top competitors this season and last year’s experience at the worlds will play dividends this time around.
“I don’t feel like an outsider coming in,” she said. “I feel like I own it, I belong there and they are equally coming at me as a competitor.”
In addition to her Commonwealth Games gold medal in 2017, Weicker had an excellent fifth-place finish against a topflight field in Poland and was second at the Canada Cup in Guelph, losing to Russia’s top woman.
“Overall, I had so many international matches this year,” she said. “I beat a wrestler who was seventh at the Rio Olympics.”
Weicker is one of five Brock Wrestling Club members competing at the world championships. She is joined by Jessie MacDonald, Jade Parsons, Jessica Brouilette and Olivia Di Bacco. Half of Canada’s women’s team is made of Brock club members.
“It is so unique to be able to have that,” Calder said. “I’m reluctant to brag but I am really proud as a coach for what these girls have accomplished.”
On the men’s side, Brock Wrestling Club member Jevon Balfour is taking a pass on the event because of an injury.
“With his (young) age, I felt like we would regret it if we put him in,” Calder said. “His weight class is so tough and he hasn’t had the preparation he needed because he was injured.
“We thought he would recover and have the opportunity to compete but it never happened.”