Three wrestlers took part in a very big international wrestling tournament in Helsinki over the weekend as part of the Wrestling Northern Ireland Squad.
All three competed in the under-18 series and did very well after a very long break due to the health situation.
It’s been more than two years since Darragh Love and Charlotte McGuigan competed, and Matthew Crozier’s three years since he missed the previous year because of an injury.
This event is at a very high level and how they would perform was really unknown. All three stepped forward and made themselves, their club and the whole community very proud. Darragh and Charlotte are from Enniskillen, while Matthew is from Kesh.
Matthew started with two tough matches against Finnish and Latvian opponents who eventually won the tournament, but as a result Matthew dropped out of the tournament.
Many lessons were learned about status, strategy, and things that need to be worked on.
He is focused and always ready to work hard to succeed.
Charlotte also had a couple of very tight matches and managed to squeeze in a bronze medal as a great result. It was an excellent experience for Charlotte, as she also continues her coaching career with the club and the qualifications of a UK referee with a competing system.
Darragh was an excellent wrestler of the day in Northern Ireland. All 70-80 kg grades are generally considered the strictest in the world.
Darragh has prepared for this even during the closing periods with great dedication to learning and exercising.
Smart training, eating well and taking care of their body and mind led to a great gold medal match against an Israeli very skilled wrestler in Saturday’s final.
Darragh took possession of the ball after a miscued clearance by the defense and capitalized fully on the mistake to make it 1-0.
Darragh then dominated him from above and turned his opponent on his back to get more points along the way.
It was a decisive victory, and wrestlers around the world will notice it.
All three wrestlers have also completed a British Wrestling Level 1 coaching certificate this year, further demonstrating their commitment to the Olympic wrestling and helping their club and community.
The training for these wrestlers will continue alongside the rest of the Erne Wrestling team and the Omagh MMA team at least three nights a week at the Southwest Academy of Sport in Creamery Business Park in Irvinestown.
The training camps and sessions are open to everyone, so keep a close eye on Erne Wrestling’s Facebook page to stay up to date.