With a week to go I knew that I had to get myself mentally and physically prepared. I treated it as if it was an important rugby match, that's all I really know and although I was happy with the prep there are things I would like to change for next time.
The week leading up to competition I had all my sessions as normal, I managed to get in the wrestling, flexibility and mobility sessions, KCR and and had a really good massage off Pav, my hamstrings and quads were loose and my calves weren't too bad the only issue I had was with the small of my back, it was a little tight but all in all in good shape even after a light Wrestling technique on Friday night
|Love a steak 16oz|
Early to bed and up at 5:30am the next morning for the 2 hour journey up to Wolverhampton. I have to say at this point that Simmo did me a solid favour over the weekend. He drove me up to Wolverhampton he then had to get to Bath for Rugby before coming back to get me in Wolvemhapton and taking me home again. 400 Miles in total that's the equivalent of driving from Edinburgh to London. Thank you very much mate!
|Aldersley Sports Village, Wolvermhampton - just before weigh in|
It was pretty busy must have been 400 - 500 people there in total including 220 competitors meaning a lot of matches. The bouts were released and I got a bye in the first round which was fine and I got drawn against Chinu in the second. That meant that I would be taking on the British Freestyle Champion in my first ever proper wrestling encounter. It was a long wait, Chinu came and found me because he was a little confused that after my name came ENG and he didn't know who I was. I explained that ENG wasn't England and was in fact [EN]GAGE Wrestling Club. The prep before you fight is odd (well to me anyway), there are two extremes, those who are sociable and talk to anybody and then there are those who chill out and keep themselves to themselves. I watched a lot of wrestling and did a fair bit of talking, I was just trying to get a feel for the place but next time I'd like to focus a bit more on my matches. That said, I did have to wait 3 hours until I was on.
I sat down with my coach on the day and asked for advice, we joked and agreed the best thing to do was "run!". Seriously though, the recommendations were to stay away, defend and try to last out the round. That plan would have been good if Chinu hadn't been as strong and powerful as he was. Stepping onto the mat to face him was fairly intimidating, he is a bit lad and the lats on him we more like wings. Let's not beat around the bush, he dominated me and smashed me and i'm happy to accept that. There was no way I could have beaten him with my knowledge or skill
|Chinu Chinu in blue (photo copyright Nigel Farrow)|
Wrestling is a lot more technical than most people give it credit for and I can tell you that rolling around on the mat under the weight of the British Champion only for 30 seconds trying to avoid a pin is physically and mentally draining. His power was something else and something that I really need to work on, I wasn't expecting the aggression that he had and have decided that I'm far too nice on the mat and need to find a nasty streak to start winning matches.
So that was the end of that. Chinu had in all senses on the word smashed me on the mat, it was good to get that experience but I was in effect out of the competition unless Chinu made it through to the Gold medal match. Which, of course he did. That meant Repêchage and another crack at the whip. I was only two bouts off a bronze medal but got drawn against the British Roman Grecco Champion who was trying his hand at Freestyle. He had done freestyle before and a bit of kick boxing so was expecting a quick exit. We got on the mat, had a scuffle and a bit of pushing, he tried the head snap, I defending this time and was doing ok but ended up getting gut wrenched stupidly 3 times in a row and that was the round! The second round went a lot better, I was getting pushed towards the edge and managed to get a throw in but was countered and lost that encouter. I did manage to get a single leg take down on the Grecco champ but didn't close it and hold him once it was complete so was a bit of wasted effort and got a pulled external oblique for my trouble. The round finished with another counter from him after I tried a throw and that showed that he was more experienced than me. I was a lot happier with that performance.
All in all a good day, the match against Chinu was a bit of a waste of time on the wrestling front but did give me a flavour of how powerful the best are and that's what this was about. I chilled out that evening with an uneventful night in Bristol, a couple of catch up pints with Simmo and the superbowl before passing out and heading home on Monday afternoon. Even got an easyjet upgrade (if there is such a thing) to better leg room seats, the flight attendant took pity on the two elderly ladies I was about to sit in between.
|As Promised singlet photo (ignore the socks)|
How are my Commonwealth Games 2014 qualification chances looking? I'm under no illusion that things are going to be tough, realistically if I'm going to qualify it will be at the British Closed Championships early next year. That would give me a year to buck up and learn the basics well. I'll still be entering the British and the other events but you have to be realistic about what you can achieve and luck can only take you so far!
The next event for me is in April in Manchester at the British Novices! Looking forward to that one and starting training again.
Thanks again for taking time out to read, and thanks especially to Simmo for his efforts last weekend #headofmoral
For those of you who don't know the UK that well this is the journey that the big fella racked up this weekend. What a trooper! I did give him petrol money! not that tight!
|Bristol - Wolverhampton - Bath - Wolverhampton - Bristol = Edinburgh - London|