The Scottish woman’s wrestlers rolled into action with a rigorous training schedule today, in preparation for the start of competition next week, which will see woman’s wrestling feature in a Commonwealth Games for the first time ever.
The seven women, part of a team of 10 wrestlers representing Team Scotland in Delhi, have been training hard to ensure they are fit for the fight, including daily strength and conditioning, as well as practice sessions on the mat.
Canadian based Wrestler, Ashlea McManus, who took silver at the 2009 Commonwealth Championship in India, has quickly settled into Village life and is now completely focused on preparing for the Games. She said: “We have everything we need here and the on-site training venue is top class. The Village is lovely and there’s a great atmosphere with all the various nations, but my main focus right now is to train as hard as I can for competition.”
The woman’s competition will be freestyle only with seven weight categories in each: 44-48kg, 51kg, 55kg, 59kg, 63kg, 67kg and 67-72kg.
Ashlea, who will be competing in the 67kg weight category, adds: “I weigh in on the seventh October and my first day of competition is the following day, and I believe that if I keep focused a medal chance is in reach for me.”
Another first for Delhi’s Commonwealth Games is the inclusion of female twin wrestlers, Donna and Fiona Robertson, 41 from Hamilton. However the women are no stranger to the Commonwealth arena having both won medals in judo, Donna in 1990 and Fiona in 2002. However, as judo has not featured on the programme since Manchester in 2002, the girls took the opportunity to follow a talent transfer programme into wrestling that has resulted in their second Games appearance here in Delhi.
Donna said: “Last week it was all about getting here, and now it’s about the competition and getting results on the day. Ultimately the competition is the biggest challenge and we just need to make sure we’re well prepared. That means eating well, giving 100% at every session, and getting good recovery between training. It’s easy to do that here though as there’s nothing else getting in the way.”
The twins are in different weight categories, with Donna in the 51kg and Fiona the 48kg competition.
Fiona adds: “It’s pretty good that we’re different weights, as it means we can support each other during matches. On a match day you need to be a bit selfish and focus on yourself This way means I can concentrate on fighting and give Donna support, and vice versa.
“We’re both looking forward to getting out there on the field of play, it’ll be a really proud moment for us to represent Scotland in woman’s wrestling, especially since it’s a first for the Commonwealth Games. There’s no seeding in wrestling, it’s down to the luck of the draw who your opponent is. India and Canada have strong woman’s teams but we don’t think too much about who we’ll be wrestling and it’s true what they say, you have to beat the best to be the best.”
Female wrestling will take place at the Indira Gandhi Sports Complex 6-8 October.