Sam Belkin missed out on the bronze in the men’s 97kg class when he was clearly outpointed by Canadian Jordan Steen today.
Belkin, a bronze medallist in Glasgow four years ago, advanced to the bronze medal bout through the repechage system.
He lost his opening bout to Martin Erasmus and then had to wait to see if the South African wrestler progressed to the gold medal round. The repechage rules are such that if you lose to the eventual finalist, you get a second shot to progress.
The New Zealander got that second chance and made the most of it, beating Australian Nicolaas Verreynne 7 – 3 in a tightly fought match. Belkin said it was a difficult start to the day, but that he was hugely motivated by the support of everyone back in the athletes village and at home, and by his family and friends in the crowd.
In the bout for the bronze ,Steen accumulated 10 points in the first period to sew up the victory. “He was a talented, technical dude, too good for me,” Belkin said.
Looking ahead, Belkin said, “This is pretty much it for me as a wrestler. I’ve been lucky enough to go to three Commonwealth Games. That’s been an honour and a privilege. But this is the last one.
“We’re starting a family now, and that’s where I want to put my energy. However, I would like to do some coaching. I feel I owe it to the sport – it’s given me so much.”
Only Belkin of the New Zealand wrestlers in action today managed a win.
In the Group B of the women’s 57kg division, New Zealander Ana Moceyawa suffered successive defeats.
She went down first to Canadian Emily Schaefer. The New Zealander trailed 3-0 when she lost by a fall.
In her second group bout, Moceyawa could not handle Indian Pooja Dhanda and was beaten in the first period, when she trailed 8-0.
Brahm Richards went down 10-0 to the Indian, Jajrang, in the first period in their men’s 65kg bout.
He also had trouble in his repechage bout against Nigerian Amas Daniel and was outpointed 10-0 in the first period.Gold Coast 2018 Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games Sam Belkin Brahm Richards Ana Moceyawa Wrestling - Freestyle