Aussie aim­ing for Kiwi medal

Central Leader - - SPORT - By ALAN APTED

New Zealand’s hopes of win­ning a wrestling medal at the Glas­gow Com­mon­wealth Games rest on an Aus­tralian.

Mar­cus Car­ney is a 26-year-old one-time rugby league player who grew up in Syd­ney but now works as an in­struc­tor at an Auck­land gym.

Car­ney weighs just over 120 kilo­grams and will wres­tle as a heavy­weight in Glas­gow.

He earned his ticket by win­ning the na­tional cham­pi­onships and fin­ish­ing fourth at the Com­mon­wealth Cham­pi­onships in Jo­han­nes­burg last year.

He sounds like a full­blooded Aus­tralian but he wants to as­sure Ki­wis he will be very proud to wear the Sil­ver Fern.

‘‘Wrestling is a sport which, if I hadn’t come to New Zealand, I don’t know if I’d be do­ing it,’’ he says. ‘‘It gives me great pride to be rep­re­sent­ing New Zealand.’’

Car­ney’s switch to wrestling came by way of a mishap play­ing rugby league for the Eller­slie Ea­gles.

His dreams of be­com­ing a full­time league pro- fes­sional shat­tered when he wrecked his knee in a club game. He soon went look­ing for a sub­sti­tute.

He en­rolled at the wrestling club at Dilworth School in Ep­som and it has been on­wards and up­wards ever since.

‘‘I re­alised wrestling was for me. This is what I was meant to do.’’

Car­ney goes to Glas­gow con­fi­dent that his leg will hold out.

Noted sur­geon Barry Ti­et­jens re­built his left knee and he has not had an is­sue with it since.

Car­ney ac­knowl­edges that wrestlers from In­dia and Africa will have an edge in ex­pe­ri­ence but he is con­fi­dent his fit­ness will be the lev­eller.

‘‘I’ve worked 10 years to get an op­por­tu­nity like this . . . with my back­ground of com­pet­ing at a high level, I’ll get in there and do a good job.’’

Car­ney is now train­ing in the United States as part of his prepa­ra­tions.

Go to cen­tral­leader.co.nz and click Lat­est Edi­tion to see Mar­cus Car­ney train with a 400kg tyre.

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