Two wrestlers represented Wales at the inaugural GB Grand Prix, held in Manchester on 2nd December.
Fifteen nations competed in the event at Wythenshawe Forum, including athletes from as far afield as Korea, Mongolia and New Zealand. Wales was represented by athletes in the U17 and U20 sessions, winning a bronze medal in the Under 17 age group.
Competing in her first international event, Lucia Ford displayed grit and talent against more experienced wrestlers in the U17 session, winning the bronze medal and showing great potential.
Rhys Latham, who is only in his second year of competition, proved a tough challenge for his international opponents in the U20 session and demonstrated clear wrestling skills.
Luke Lo Turco unfortunately had to withdraw due to an injury during training.
Coach Curtis Dodge was proud of the team’s performance.”We knew this would be a step-up in the standard of competition, but our wrestlers impressed and showed that they deserved to be there. This was an important opportunity for them to gain experience at the international level. They have the talent – we need to build their experience and that of the wider squad next year.”
Recognition is due also to our Development team of Marc Shipman and Leah San for the support on the day and preparing for the competition.
This was also the final international competition for Wales’ senior official, Ian Wiggett. Ian refereed the final match of the day, alongside two Olympic referees overseeing the mat (Carlos Garcia of ESP and Vaclav Scheiner (CZE). As tradition expects, Ian left his whistle and armbands in the centre of the mat at the end of the match, before he was presented with a golden whistle by the chief executive of British Wrestling.