Image: Getty Images
By David McPherson
Are you ready to rumble?
Australia’s finest freestyle wrestlers will take to the mat on Thursday, looking to claim our first medal since Emily Bensted won silver at the Delhi 2010 Games.
Freestyle wrestling involves two three-minute rounds during which the athletes aim to score points by taking their opponent to the ground with a number of takedowns.
Former Scottish wrestler and Australian champion Connor Evans explains how it all works.
“If you take someone from standing onto their hands and knees or flat on their stomach, you get two points for that. If you take someone from standing straight onto their back, you get four points for that,” he says.
“If you take someone to their hands and knees on the ground and you can expose their back to the mat you get two more points every time you expose their back.”
There are a few ways to be victorious at the end of a fight.
“If you can get someone both shoulder blades on the mat and hold it there, that’s classed as a pin and that would end the match.
“You can also go 10 points clear or whoever has the highest score at the end of the two three-minute rounds – that’s the last way you can win.”
Jayden Lawrence will lead charge for our Aussie wrestlers, after missing selection for Rio through injury and falling just short of a medal in Glasgow.
Evans and Rupinder Kaur will also be pushing for medal contention in the men’s 74 kg division and women’s 50 kg class.
Both have brought their wrestling talents to Australia after coming from overseas backgrounds.
Kaur began wrestling as a 12-year-old in Tarn Taran, a small village in India and has led an incredible journey to arrive on the Gold Coast.
Kaur is so committed to realising her GC2018 dream that she made the agonising decision to send her 19-month-old daughter to be with her mother so she could focus on training.
The Scottish Evans has shown similar dedication, quitting his job in the lead-up to the games to allow him to train 25 hours a week.
Carissa Holland will compete in the women’s 53kg division, Naomi de Bruin in the women’s 76kg, Tom Cicchini in the men’s 57 kg, Mehrdad Tarash in the men’s 65kg and Nick Verreynne in the men’s 97 kg.