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You are here: CWG 2010 New Delhi Games Wrestlers hoping to create history for Wales at Commonwealth Games

Wrestlers hoping to create history for Wales at Commonwealth Games

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brett_hawthorn.jpgThree days into their Commonwealth Games experience and the Welsh wrestlers are contemplating getting their names into the history books. Not only will Delhi 2010 see Wales field their first wrestling team full-stop, it will also be the first Games to feature the sport for women.

"We've got a strong team," explains wrestling coach Alan Jones. "The women are making history for Wales. If they can just get one medal they'll make history."

But the competition's tough as 36 year-old Non Evans explains, "The Canadians are probably the best; it's their national sport. The Indian women are unknown; we haven't seen them training, but nobody knows me either. I'm new on the circuit so people probably don't know anything about me."

Being an unknown contender certainly won't knock Non's confidence and if her sporting history is anything to go by she's certainly a force to be reckoned with. After a career threatening leg break playing rugby, Non fought back to compete in both judo and weightlifting at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester in 2002, but wrestling is a whole different ball game.

"It's the luck of the draw," says Non. "You could have a really good draw or face the best in the world in your first fight. That's the thing about wrestling; you never know who you're going to fight until the day."

For six members of the seven-strong Welsh team, Delhi is their first foray into the world of the Commonwealth Games and so far it's going down a treat.

"The facilities here are great," says 23 year-old Craig Pilling. "We've met lots of countries so far and we're all just waiting for the opening ceremony now. It all kicks off from there and once we've had that the team will be buzzing!"

With a total of 21 medals up for grabs in the wrestling, Wales will be wanting to stamp its authority on the eight categories with Brett Hawthorn competing in both the Greco roman and the freestyle.

And coach Alan Jones is certainly keeping the confidence high in camp, "I always say give someone an opportunity and, if they take it, they'll win. We attack it in three phases: Are we going to get there? And then we get selected. Then we climb another hill, are we ready? So we get them ready. Then we get here. So you start looking at the competition and, at that stage, you've just got to walk out there with an open mind and wrestle."

Brett Hawthorn will be first to compete for the Welsh wrestlers in the 66kg Greco Roman finals on Wednesday 6th October, swiftly followed by Kiran Manu, Non Evans and Kate Rennie on Thursday.