Aussie aiming for Kiwi medal
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.