Lucy gets to grips with world’s best
She says she doesn’t have muscles but Lucy Rutten is heading to the Youth Olympics in January in an attempt to wrestle a medal for New Zealand.
The 15-year-old Tawa wrestler has been on the mat for about six years, following in the footsteps of her father.
Lucy won the national championship for her 56kg cadet division in September, earning her a spot in the Youth Olympics.
‘‘It took quite a while to get the hang of wrestling,’’ she said. ‘‘ Because you are in weight categories, you’re all the same weight, so it’s all about technique and speed.’’
After learning the basics from her father, Lucy is now coached at the Tawa Wrestling Gym, where she trains two nights a week.
The Paraparaumu College student also trains six nights a week for her other sport, rowing, with only Fridays off from sport.
Lucy will head to the Youth Olympics in Sydney in January.
‘‘I hope to do well. I’ve never wrestled against international teams before. A lot of people are like, ‘ you wrestle? But you’re a girl’. And I’m like, ‘yeah, I do’.’’
The games will be held from January 16 to 20.
Lucy will compete at the State Sport Centre in the Sydney Olympic Park, which was used for the 2000 Olympic Games.
Australia, Brazil, China, Hungary, Great Britain, New Zealand and a combined Oceania team will compete in wrestling.
Don’t mess: Lucy Rutten demonstrates a head and arm lock on reporter Talia Carlisle.