Bedford wrestlers were in fine form at the inaugural Commonwealth Sombo wrestling championships in Dartford at the weekend.
The tournament was attended by competitors from as far afield as Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, Ghana and India, and many more Commonwealth countries, including home teams from Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England.
Cyeanne Eaton, 16, led the way for Bedford by taking the Commonwealth title in the senior female under 52kg category, beating her Scottish opponent 12-0 in the final.
This was followed by William Armagan, 17, who beat Indian champion Barve Swapnil to set up a final clash with Alex Amoako; a very experienced Olympic judo competitor from Ghana.
William took the contest to time but lost by 6 points to 0 to take the silver in the men’s senior under 68 kg category.
There were also medals for Tom Jackson, who took silver in the men’s U100kgs after losing to the Indian national champion Fenandes Alan; bronze for Mark Wainwright (men’s U82kg); and bronze for Dan Sullivan (100+). There was a fifth place for Sim Gran-Jones (82kg).
Bedford can also be proud of British Champion Emily Crawford who represented GB at the Presidents Cup – an international Sombo tournament that was created to raise awareness of Sombo, and to showcase the top fighters in the world to a UK audience.
The event featured the top eight world teams of Great Britain, Russia, Belorussia, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, as well as three united teams of Commonwealth nations.
Teams had nine athletes competing in weight categories; the teams were seeded in two pools and competed under the direct knock-out system for the main trophy.
The GB team beat Team Commonwealth Africa and Team Commonwealth America to reach the final against Team Russia, who won the event 7-2 to leave GB and Emily with a silver medal.
Sombo wrestling is a jacket wrestling style originating from Russia, and Bedford are hoping young wrestlers Eaton and Armagan will make the GB team for the Junior World Championships and the European Games in 2015.
To find out more about the sport, please call Russell Dodds on 07889 14662.