WAW Print: Open: 2009 World Champioships – Tatiana Padilla – 55kg Women’s Freestyle

WAW Print: 2009 World Championships – 55kg bronze medalist Tatiana Padilla and Women’s Freestyle Coach Terry Steiner

There’s a lot going on here, not only on the mat, but in press row as well.  On the mat, Tatiana was wrestling Geeta Geeta of India in the quarters.  It was a wild match, Tatiana came out with a 3-0 win in the first period, but then lost 4-1 in the second.  This shot was the break between the second and third period.  I’d love to know what Coach Steiner (one of my favs right now) said specifically.  As a former coach and long time wrestler I’ve spent a lot of time in the corner, I think he probably kept it pretty basic: “Wrestler smart, wrestle to win.  I believe in you, and I know you believe in yourself.”  Or something like that.  Maybe they will let us know what was said.  I just think this photo shows a great dynamic and relationship between a wrestler and a coach.

Tatiana stuck Geeta in the third period.  It was a great win, and continued the momentum she needed to capture the bronze medal.  There’s something about Tatiana that I think the US can build around.  She has a swagger and confidence, and has proven she belongs on the world stage.  London’s calling… [Ed Update – 3/13/12 – Tatiana is not wrestling currently, she will need neck surgery before she starts up again.]

Off the mat, the Denmark Worlds were cool in many ways, small, localized, but the photography section was an afterthought, so we were roped behind the athletes and coaches.  That means every time a coach or athlete walked to a mat, they blocked the photographers (who aren’t 6’6″ ;^).   Taking a different approach, I shot from the stands which were mat level.  I am grateful to the Paulson and Felix families for accommodating me in the stands.  What makes this shot special is that the color balance is really interesting.  When the wrestlers are on the yellow portion of the mat all the photos come out cast yellow/red which can be adjusted in post processing, but that’s not ideal.  When they step to the blue part of the mat, the light gets much better, as this shot shows.

PS:  Check out the singlet AND hair grab in the semi-fianl match with Tatiana vs Ahmedli of AZE.

More photos from this match and her semi final match (plus all of the 2009 Worlds) can be seen here.

This 20×16 file is 15mb and can be directly downloaded here:
2009 World Championships – Padilla vs Geeta – 55KG Qrt Finals

© 2009 Tony Rotundo. All rights reserved. This image may not be used for any promotional material in print or on-line without the written permission of the photographer.

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