Young wrestlers claim medals at national champs

Medal power . . . Taieri Taniwhas Amateur Wrestling Club members (front from left) Sienna Forgie (11), Lexi Burns (11), Isaac Sinclair (12), Saffron Chisholm (9), Adam Wagstaff (10), (back from left) Nixon Burns (14), Cameron Lord (13), Max Cross (11) and Jalen Forgie (13), with coach Justin Winter (back), competed in the national championships in Hamilton earlier this month. Absent: Jamie Kerr, Jane Hamer, Kobe Fraser and Oak Chisholm. PHOTO: JESSICA WILSON

Taieri wrestlers pinned down their competition to claim medals at the national championships.

Eleven members of the Taieri Taniwhas Amateur Wrestling Club competed in the championships in Hamilton on October 19 and 20.

In their grades, Jane Hamer and Saffron Chisholm won gold, Jamie Kerr, Jalen Forgie and Isaac Sinclair nabbed silver, Cameron Lord, Max Cross, Adam Wagstaff and Sienna Forgie got bronze, and Nixon and Lexi Burns both finished fourth.

Oak Chisholm and Kobe Fraser were unable to wrestle because of injury and illness respectively.

Brother and sister duo Jalen and Sienna had both competed at nationals before and hoped to secure a medal.

Sienna fought in three bouts, and Jalen competed against two others.

They said competing against North Island wrestlers was “pretty hard”.

Coach Justin Winter said the competition was a lot tougher than they were expecting, and they did not have much experience against North Island wrestlers.

“There were some really tough bouts.”

Isaac had seven wrestlers in his weight grade, so for him to win a silver medal was an “outstanding effort”.

Nixon got a taste of international competition when he competed against a member of the Australian team, he said.

“He took it to them and pushed them.”

Despite the tough competition, all bouts were reasonably close.

“The kids deserved everything they came away with.

“There’s no greater reward than watching some of these kids throw a bit of blood, sweat and tears out on the mat.”

The national championship marked the end of a long season.

The wrestlers will be back on the mat in February.

“It’s a big commitment but we do it because we love it.”