The Oceania region’s top wrestlers will compete Friday (March 10) through Sunday (March 12) at the Oceania Wrestling Championships held at the Institute of Youth and Sports of French Polynesia in Pirae, Tahiti. The event includes senior, junior and cadet divisions.
Freestyle wrestling and women’s wrestling will take place on Friday, followed by the Greco-Roman competition on Saturday. The event concludes on Sunday with beach wrestling.
This year’s field is comprised of 111 wrestlers from nine Pacific nations.
Tayla FORD (NZL), a 2014 Commonwealth Games bronze medalist, headlines the women's wrestling competition. Ford, who competes at 63kg, has captured a gold medal at the Oceania Wrestling Championships in each of the last three years. Prior to that she had won gold in the junior and cadet divisions of the event. Last year she topped past Oceania champion Stevie KELLY (AUS) to claim gold. This year Ford will compete against three other New Zealand women at 63kg, Simone REYNOLDS and Sarah HILLS.
Other returning gold medalists entered in the women’s wrestling competition include Ana MOCEYAWA (NZL) at 58kg and Shantelle THOMPSON (AUS) at 75kg.
Jessie-May NEL (AUS), a bronze medalist at the 2016 Commonwealth Championships, is entered at 58kg. Nel won a title at the junior level last year and finished runner-up to Moceyawa at the senior level. She represented Australia at the World Championships last year as well.
Multiple-time Olympian Florian TEMENGIL (PLW) will be looking to add another Oceania gold medal to his collection. He has been a dominant force at the Oceania Wrestling Championships, winning 10 gold medals since 2011. Temengil competed in his first Olympics in 2008 in Beijing, and his second last summer in Rio de Janeiro. He served as the flag bearer for Palau during the Parade of Nations. Temengil will also compete in the Greco-Roman competition this weekend.
Commonwealth Games bronze medalist Sam BELKIN (NZL), competing at 97kg, will be in search of his third freestyle gold medal at the Oceania Wrestling Championships at the senior level. His road to the title will likely include another meeting with Christopher GALBRAITH-CLARK (AUS), a silver medalist last year in freestyle and gold medalist in Greco-Roman.
Ethan AGUIGUI (GUM) at 57kg, Jarvis Sadam Blesam TARKONG (PLW) at 65kg, Tumaui NORDMANN (PYF) at 74kg and Toby FITZPATRICK (NZL) at 86kg are also looking to repeat as gold medalists in the freestyle competition.
The Greco-Roman senior competition includes 45 competitors. The aforementioned Galbraith-Clark (AUS) has won Greco-Roman titles in each of the past two years at 98kg. Another returning champion entered in the Greco-Roman competition is Caylen GREENWOOD (NZL) at 80kg.
There will be a live stream for the Oceania Wrestling Championships.
Friday, March 10
09:00: Opening Ceremony
10:00: Qualification rounds FS-WW – all categories
12:00: Final entries GR – all categories
14:00: Repechage FS-WW – all categories
17:30: Medical examination GR – all categories
18:15: Weigh-in GR – all categories
19:00: Bronze medal matches FS-WW – all categories
20:00: Finals FS-WW – all categories
Saturday, March 11
10:00: Qualification rounds GR – all categories
12:00: Finals entries BW – all categories
14:00: Repechage GR – all categories
18:00: Bronze medal matches GR – all categories
19:00: Finals GR – all categories
20:30: Final Banquet
Sunday, March 12
09:00: Beach Wrestling competition – all categories
19:00: Banquet Final