Wiganers make up ONE THIRD of England's Commonwealth wrestling team

All eyes will be on the wrestling mat at the Commonwealth Games, with no fewer than THREE Wiganers in England's nine-strong squad.

By Paul Kendrick
Thursday, 28th July 2022, 3:09 pm
Updated Friday, 5th August 2022, 3:46 pm

First up is 26-year-old Charlie Bowling, who is looking for another podium finish in Birmingham.

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Bowling brought home bronze from Gold Coast 2018, after a sweeping victory against Mauritius' Jean Bandou in the under-65 kilograms event.

Eight of England's nine-strong wrestling squad for the Commonwealth Games

Coached by Derek Rowlands at Aspull Warriors Wrestling Club, Bowling won his first British title in 2017 and went on to win gold at the Kwiks International in Belgium.

Having spent lockdowns training on the family farm, he'll hope to bring home the bacon this time.

Also returning is English champion Sarah Clossick, who first represented her country at Glasgow 2014, finishing fifth at 58kg.

Wrestling runs in the Clossick family with brother Mike Grundy winning bronze in Glasgow, while dad Dave coached her for over two decades at Wigan and Leigh Wrestling Club.

Sarah, 31, enjoys a keen rivalry with team-mate Chloe Spiteri, with the pair grappling for gold at the last two English Championships - Clossick taking gold at this year's edition.

Wigan’s wrestling trio is completed by nine-time national champion - but Commonwealth Games rookie - Harvey Ridings.

The 19-year-old, who first represented his country at the age of 12, is hoping to make his name in the 57kg category.

He has already cut his teeth at a multi-sport event having attended the 2019 European Youth Olympic Festival in Baku.

Ridings started out at Aspull Warrior Wrestling Club in Wigan and has since gone on to train abroad in Ukraine, Finland, Germany and, more recently, the United States where he will be continuing his athletic and academic career at Emmanuel College in Georgia in autumn this year.

Team England is completed by Georgina Nelthorpe, Kelsey Barnes, Mandhir Kooner, Myroslav Dykun and George Ramm.

"There's some fantastic experience among these athletes nominated with former Commonwealth medallists putting the squad in a great position heading into a home Games," said Mark England, the Chef de Mission for England.

"Georgina was our sole female wrestler on the Gold Coast and it's great to see her selected again and now joined by Chloe, Kelsey and Sarah.

"I look forward to seeing some standout performances on the mat in Coventry."