Wrestlers shine in Sheffield
March 23, 2012 15:00 pm
Great Britain’s Olympic wrestling hopefuls bounced back from their disappointment at the European Championships with a series of fine showings at the British Senior Championships in Sheffield.
The GB selectors took a squad of seven to the Europeans in Belgrade, Serbia at the start of March to help aid their preparations for London 2012.
But Myroslav Dykun, a Greco-Roman Commonwealth champion from 2010, was the only wrestler to get past the first round - although this was only after he won his opening match by default.
Aside from this, freestyle wrestler Leon Rattigan was the only wrestler to win a period in his bout - only to go down 2-0, 0-1, 0-1 to Georgi Sredkov of Bulgaria, who was later knocked out by eventual 96 kilogram champion Abdusalam Gadisov.
Eager to find form ahead of the Olympic qualifying tournaments in both April and May, members of the GB squad that attended the Europeans were in fine form as they were successful at the British Championships at the English Institute of Sport on March 24.
In the women’s freestyle events, Sarah Connolly won the 63kg category and Chloe Spiteri took gold in the 67kg class, while there were also titles for fellow London 2012 hopefuls Yana Stadnik (48kg) and Olga Butkevych (59kg).
In the men’s freestyle, Olympic hopefuls Oleksandr Madyarchyk (60kg) and Rattigan (96kg) were crowned British champions, although fellow GB international Nate Ackerman only left with a bronze in the 84kg division.
Dykun was a winner in the 74kg Greco-Roman event in Sheffield to further enhance his own prospects of being picked for the Games – especially with only three quota places being guaranteed for Great Britain as hosts across both the freestyle and Greco disciplines.