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Ali Bernard’s second Olympic chance ended in first-round loss
LONDON, England — Ali Bernard got a second chance to wrestle in her second Olympics Games. Unfortunately, she only got one chance to compete in the 2012 London Games after the 2011 World bronze medalist from Minnesota suffered a disappointing 3-0, 1-1 loss to Sweden’s Jenny Fransson in a first-round match at 158 pounds.
Bernard nearly forced a third-period against Fransson but gave up a last-second takedown to the Swedish wrestler, who also scored her only points against Bernard in the final five seconds of the first period.
“I just wasn’t ready,” said Bernard, who finished fifth in the 2008 Olympics. “I just wasn’t wrestling how I should be. This is where I should put it on the line, and I didn’t. I really kind of deserved it (the loss). She didn’t do anything, I messed it up on my own. It was the first round. I should have gone after her with a hip toss.
This marked the first time that Bernard lost to Fransson and was eventually eliminated from the 2012 Olympics when Fransson lost her next match to five-time World champion Stanka Zlateva.
“I’ve never lost to her….so I showed her too much respect. But I can’t go back now. I wrestled her at the (2008) Olympics and at the World Championships last year and knocked her out.”
The loss was the latest example of an up-and-down Olympic experience for Bernard, who first lost a chance to compete in the 2012 Games when she lost to Stephany Lee in the Olympic Trials in Iowa City, Iowa, in April. But when Lee tested positive for marijuana in July and was dropped from the Olympic Team, Bernard moved back into the starting line-up for London.
“It is what it is, it sucks,” said the 26-year-old Bernard, who competed in college at the University of Regina in Canada. “It’s an emotional roller coaster with a terrible ending. It’s over, I’m glad it’s over. But it was worth it.
“It was a good journey, just not how I wanted it to end. I know I practiced hard every day, that’s all I can say.”
WIN’s Souvenir Edition of our coverage of the 2012 Olympics will printed on Aug. 22. Call 1-888-305-0606 or go to WIN-magazine.com to subscribe to WIN magazine.