Lucy gets to grips with world’s best

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - By BEN STRANG

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.

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