Michelle takes gold at Oceanias
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.