Wrestling Kicks Off Sport Focus in 2020

January 10, 2020

One of the six sports contested at the very first Commonwealth Games back in 1930, Wrestling has been  a medal winning sport for Scotland throughout its history. In the first month of the new year, Wrestling will be in our ‘Celebrating Our Past, Building Our Future’ Sport Focus spotlight, as we continue to feature each of the 25 sports in which Scotland has competed at the Commonwealth Games.

Look out for all things Wrestling on Team Scotland’s website and social channels this month as we delve into the archives for tales of past success and also look ahead to the rising stars of the sport in Scotland.

Wrestling at the Commonwealth Games

Wrestling was one of six sports included in the first Commonwealth Games in 1930 and has been on the sport programme at 18 of the 21 Games held to date despite remaining an optional sport. From just three nations competing in 1930, the sport has become a staple of the Games with 23 nations taking to the mat at Gold Coast 2018.

Freestyle Wrestling has been the only discipline contested at all Games, with the exception of Delhi 2010 which added a Greco-Roman event alongside Freestyle. Women’s events were first introduced in 2010 with Team Scotland selecting a full complement of seven female wrestlers.

Scotland has found success in the sport throughout its history winning 21 medals: 1 gold, 5 silver and 15 bronze.

Find out more about Wrestling in the Commonwealth Games on our dedicated Wrestling page.

Scotland’s Commonwealth Games Medallists

With Scotland not among the three nations to contest the Wrestling medals in 1930, it was the following Games in 1934 that saw Scottish wrestlers make their debut in fine style. Edward Melrose won gold in the Bantamweight event and remains Scotland’s only Wrestling gold medallist to date. His team mates Archibald Dudgeon, Robert Harcus and Murdoch White all took bronze in what is still Scotland’s highest medal tally in the sport at a single Games.


Bronze for Thomas Ward was the sole medal at the next Games in Sydney where a very small team was sent to Australia and following no medals at either the 1950 or 1954 Games, silver for Alastair Duncan and George Farquhar at Cardiff 1958 marked the start of a winning streak for Scotland’s wrestlers. Beginning in 1958, Scotland won at least one medal at each of the next nine Games where the sport was included (no Wrestling competition was held in 1990 or 1998). The most successful Games during this time was a three medal tally at home at Edinburgh 1986 as Albert Patrick took silver and David Connelly and Graeme English bronze. Patrick’s silver secured his place as Scotland’s most decorated Commonwealth Games wrestler, adding to his previous silver at Edmonton 1978 and bronze at Brisbane 1982.

Graeme English added his second medal at Victoria 1994, with Calum McNeil also on the podium for Scotland, and these remained the final wrestling medals for Scotland for 20 years before Viorel Etko and Alex Gladkov delighted the home crowd at Glasgow 2014, breaking the drought with bronze medals in the Men’s 61kg and 65kg events respectively.

Team Scotland Wrestling Medallists
London 1934 Gold – Edward Melrose, Bronze – Archibald Dudgeon, Robert Harcus, Murdoch White
Sydney 1938 Bronze – Thomas Ward
Cardiff 1958 Silver – Alastair Duncan, George Farquhar
Perth 1962 Bronze – James Turnbull
Kingston 1966 Silver – Wallace Booth
Edinburgh 1970 Bronze – Don Urquhart
Christchurch 1974 Bronze – George Allan, Ian Duncan
Edmonton 1978 Silver – Albert Patrick
Brisbane 1982 Bronze – Albert Patrick
Edinburgh 1986 Silver – Albert Patrick, Bronze – David Connelly, Graeme English
Victoria 1994 Bronze – Graeme English, Calum McNeil
Glasgow 2014 Bronze – Viorel Etko, Alex Gladkov
Scotland at the Commonwealth Games

The Commonwealth Games is the only occasion where Scotland gets to compete in a multi-sport event as a nation in its own right and is one of only six countries to have competed in every Commonwealth Games since their inception in Hamilton in 1930. Represented by 15 athletes participating in six sports at those first Games, winning a very creditable 10 medals, Scotland have gone on to win medals at every Games since.

Edinburgh became the first city to hold the Games twice in 1970 and 1986 and also became the first city to host the Commonwealth Youth Games.

Scotland hosted the Games for a third time when Glasgow welcomed athletes and officials to the XXth Commonwealth Games which was held from 23rd July – 3rd August 2014. Team Scotland celebrated their most successful Games in history, winning a total of 53 medals and went on to record their highest overseas medal tally ever at Gold Coast 2018.

Find out more about the Commonwealth Games and Team Scotland’s past success in our Past Games section.

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