Michelle takes gold at Ocea­nias

Matamata Chronicle - - Sport - REXINE HAWES

Mata­mata woman Michelle Mon­tague is closer to mak­ing the New Zealand wrestling team to com­pete at the 2018 Com­mon­wealth Games.

The Hamil­ton Hawks wrestling team mem­ber has just re­turned from com­pet­ing in the Ocea­nia Wrestling Cham­pi­onships in Tahiti - bring­ing home a gold medal.

Win­ning at the Ocea­nia com­pe­ti­tion means she qual­i­fies for the Com­mon­wealth wrestling cham­pi­onships com­ing up soon.

Mon­tague trav­elled to Tahiti with the New Zealand wrestling team last month, win­ning all three of her matches, in the 75kg weight range.

Her fam­ily, who own the Mata­mata busi­ness Vik­ing Kayaks, went to cheer her on.

‘‘They were pretty ex­cited to be there,’’ she said.

‘‘It was a big learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for them too.’’

Mon­tague was one of 27 wrestlers to com­pete for New Zealand and they joined nine other coun­tries at the champs.

It was an event she had trained hard for.

Deal­ing with the heat upon ar­rival was some­thing new and con­tin­ued to be a chal­lenge through­out the com­pe­ti­tion.

‘‘It was 38-40 de­grees ev­ery day.’’

She said the wrestling arena also lacked air con­di­tion­ing, which made the heat even more in­tense.

How­ever it didn’t de­ter the young woman, who fin­ished all three rounds un­de­feated.

Mon­tague’s first match was against an Aus­tralian woman, whom she was hop­ing to wres­tle against.

In wrestling, a win­ner is de­ter­mined by a pin, or points. Matches can last a few sec­onds, up to six min­utes. She won the first match 10-0. ‘‘She was my biggest chal­lenge, I was look­ing for­ward to wrestling her the most.

‘‘I thought it was good to face her first, so we couldn’t watch each other.’’

Her sec­ond match was against an­other New Zealan­der and the third against an­other Aus­tralian.

Mon­tague said the pres­sure of the heat be­gan to mount by her third fight.

‘‘It fol­lowed pretty quickly after the sec­ond match, so I wasn’t en­gaged.’’

She had won all her fights though and knew that meant she would take a gold medal home.

With her fam­ily watch­ing, she stood on the podium and ac­cepted her medal.


Michelle Mon­tague took gold at the Ocea­nia Wrestling Champs in her weight range.

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