Women's Freestyle Wrestling: Iris Smith Fails to Medal at 2012 World Championships

Yahoo Contributor Network

Iris Smith may not have won a medal at the 2012 FILA Women's Freestyle Wrestling World Championships in Strathcona County, Canada, but the 32-year-old veteran said she's not planning to end her career anytime soon.

"I'm still around for another four years. I'm not going anywhere," Smith said during an interview with USA Wrestling. "I still feel the hunger, even during this tournament and after I lost I still was like, 'OK, I this is what I need to do. I need to do this, this and that to get better and make sure I beat these girls.'"

Smith, who was wrestling in her first world championship tournament since 2005, lost her first-round match (0-3, 0-1) on Sept. 28, 20120 to Oksana Vashchuk of Ukraine. Vashchuk then lost her next match, which caused Smith to be eliminated from the tournament.

Smith, who competes in the 72-kilogram (158.5-pound) weight class, won a gold medal and a world title at the 2005 World Championships. Smith, who is a sergeant with the U.S. Army and is a member of the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program, also was the CISM World Military champion in 2010.

Despite the fact that her return to the FILA World Championships didn't go as she'd hoped, Smith said that she was still grateful for the experience and the chance to once again represent the United States at an international competition.

Still, Smith left the tournament feeling disappointed, she said.

"(It) didn't go as planned. I didn't end up with what I hoped for," Smith said in the interview with USA Wrestling. "… It was a great experience. Everything worked out well. I felt like I was ready. I just needed to execute everything, so I'm a little disappointed about that."

Read more from this author: Olympic Experience Helped Wrestler Elena Pirozhkova Earn Gold at 2012 World Championships

Sandra Johnson is a longtime Olympic fan. While working for the United States Olympic Committee and living in the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., Johnson had the opportunity to immerse herself in the Olympic Movement. Follow her on Twitter: @SandraJohnson46

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