With the Commonwealth Games in Delhi only 70 days away, Commonwealth Games Scotland (CGS) and the Scottish Wrestling Association today announced the 10 wrestlers (three men and seven women) selected to represent Team Scotland at the Games in October. This is the first of 16 sports competing in Delhi to have its athlete selections confirmed.
One of the original six sports included in the first Games in 1930, wrestling is now an optional sport and was last in the Games at Manchester in 2002, and it will also be in Glasgow in 2014.
Wrestling is a hugely popular sport in India and one in which the hosts have targeted significant medal success. Such is the level of interest in the sport that the Scots selected today can expect to compete in front of 5,000 capacity crowds at every session, which will take place at the Indira Gandhi Sports Complex 5-10 October 2010.
Women’s wrestling will also be making its debut in Delhi and CGS is particularly delighted to have female entries in all seven weight categories a remarkable feat given that there was no women’s performance programme in Scotland until 18 months ago.
This has come about as a result of a sportscotland backed talent transfer initiative led by Scottish Wrestling, which saw judo athletes take up the sport. Five of the seven women selected today came from judo, having enjoyed considerable success in that sport, but with judo omitted from the Commonwealth Games programme in both Melbourne and Delhi, there was a clear incentive to switch. Twins, Donna and Fiona Robertson both have Commonwealth Games bronze medals in judo from the 1990 Games in Auckland and the 2002 Games in Manchester respectively.
The Scottish performance squad have mat sessions on six days each week at Palace of Art in Glasgow, overseen by national coach, Volodymyr Gladkov from Ukraine. This is complemented by three weekly strength and conditioning training sessions, provided as part of a support services package from the sportscotland institute of sport network.
The majority of the team visited Jalandahar in India in December last year to take part in the Commonwealth Championships, the official test event for the Commonwealth Games. They enjoyed their most successful ever Commonwealth Championships, winning five medals and hope this augurs well for Delhi in October.
Congratulating the team, Michael Cavanagh, Chairman of Commonwealth Games Scotland said: “I am absolutely delighted to welcome the 10 wrestlers to Team Scotland. They have truly earned their places on the team and I hope that they now can focus over these next two months on their final preparations that will put them in the best possible shape to excel at the Games.”
Jon Doig, Team Scotland Chef de Mission added: “All the wrestlers can feel rightly proud that they are our first athletes named in Team Scotland. This is the first step to achieving their goals in Delhi and all the support staff look forward to ensuring they have every opportunity to excel at the Games.”
On behalf of Scottish Wrestling, Team Leader John Keogh said: “I am extremely proud of the team selected for Delhi. It is a fabulous achievement to have ten wrestlers qualify and is testament to all their hard work. The women in particular, most of whom transferred from judo only 18 months ago to now compete at the highest level in another sport, must be commended, along with our head coach Volodymyr Gladkov.”
The majority of the wrestling team now head to Romania on Monday to benefit from further training and international competition, then on to Ukraine as they make their final preparations for the Commonwealth Games.
Athlete Category Age Lives
Craig McKenna 55kg 19 Clydebank G81
Viorel Etko 60kg 32 Aberdeen
Sean Keogh 74kg 22 Glasgow G62
Fiona Robertson 48kg 41 Hamilton ML3
Donna Robertson 51kg 41 Hamilton ML3
Jayne Clason 55kg 25 Falkirk FK3
Kathryn Gallagher 59kg 26 Glasgow G44
Tracey Connell 63kg 24 Falkirk FK5
Ashlea McManus 67kg 27 Vancouver
Sarah Jones 72kg 27 Glasgow G12
Wrestling Team Leader – John KeoghGlasgow G62
Head Coach – Volodymyr Gladkov Glasgow G52
Coach – Colin Mclaren Alloa, FK10