Coach calls for more focus on top wrestlers

Published 26 October 2015 (AEDT)

Wrestling at London 2012 Olympics © Getty Images

WRESTLING: Wrestling head coach Lubo Hofr saw enough at the Canberra Cup on the weekend to convince him Australia should be able to qualify several wrestlers for next year’s Rio Olympics.

But he also knows getting the top Australians through the difficult qualification path will require better focus, from the top of Wrestling Australia down.

“All our best wrestlers have a good chance,” Hofr said.

“But we have to start investing more in them. We have to bring them together as much as we can.

“We have to make a few adjustments towards the plan, on how we’re going to get the best out of them.”

Hofr said all the wrestlers he was expecting to compete strongly did well in Canberra.

Talgat Ilyasov, who was a last minute withdrawl from the 2004 Athens Olympics because of injury, looked strong in the 74kg title.

His 2015 World Championships teammate, Connor Evans, had his colours lowered by Canberra wrestler Nick Verreyne in a very even 86kg final.

The score was locked at 7-7 at the end of the bout, with Verreyne being awarded the victory because he scored the final points of the contest.

“It was a really good final, really high quality,” Hofr said.

“We need more tough competition like that in Australia if we are to improve.”

Hofr was also impressed by the performances of South Australian pair, Jake Dornford and Adam Collett.

In the women’s competition, there were eye-catching performances from Commonwealth Games athlete, Carissa Holland, and newly naturalised former German, Pia Rosenkranz.

A shadow Australian squad will be announced in the next fortnight to prepare for next year’s Oceania Championships, with the best performing wrestlers at that event then heading to Algiers to compete in the Africa/Oceania Continental Olympic qualifier.


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