19 April, 2015

More wrestling excitement and success

Today's excitement is by remote. My younger two boys and I were at our home church this morning, but half our hearts were in Canberra with David and our eldest son as he wrestled at the National Wrestling Titles. I wanted to be there, but the travel was too expensive to justify us both going again.

So all I know is from texts and one phone conversation, we've not see any photos or videos yet. They come home this evening, and you can bet no one's going to bed before we've seen the videos.
This is an old photo of us supporting mat-side. It's what
I wanted to be doing this time too. 

The competition is a little sparse in Australia. His teammate entered the 54 kg class and had no competition, so got a gold without a match. Our son, however, had two others to compete against, and he pinned them both! That makes him the current holder of the Australian 69 kg Cadet title (16 - 17 year olds).

As you can imagine there's been plenty of excitement here. This is the first time in about three years that I haven't been mat-side to cheer him on, so I'm a little sad. However I do still have an intact voice! But he'll get a cheer when we pick them up from the train station this evening.

I announced it on Facebook and there's been lots of congratulations. A couple of people asked about international competition. From the looks of the calendar, there is no international "cadet" competition this year, but only juniors (18-20 year olds). But even if he were able to go to something he'd probably need a sponsor or a part-time job. We're talking about places like France. Time enough for that later, if he's good enough. Once you get outside of Australia the competition is very tough. Wrestlers peak in their mid to late 20s, so a teenager still has a way to go.

His involvement in wrestling continues to produce interesting responses from Australian. From bewilderment to curiosity as well as indifference. It really is a fairly foreign sport for the majority of Aussies.

I'm just glad that we've been able to help him continue his involvement in the sport, though we've been away from his school's team in Japan. It most certainly has helped him cope with this year away from Japan. Having success here is just the icing on the cake.

For anyone who's interested in what this type of wrestling looks like, I've posted a video of a 2013 World Junior Championships final below (55kg). There are places in this video that I laughed out loud, especially at the antics of the winner (and the ref) at the end.

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