The north-east was well-represented at the recent Scottish Open Championship 2019 with medal success for several wrestlers from ETKO Wrestling Academy in Oldmeldrum.
Both junior and senior club members travelled from Aberdeenshire to compete in the event, which was held at Kelvin Hall, Glasgow. Junior wrestlers Lucas Burkhead and Fraser Drysdale topped the podium in the 28kg and 52kg categories respectively, with further medals for the club across various other weight categories. Full results for ETKO Wrestling Academy were as follows:
28kg – Lucas Burkhead, age 9, gold
28kg – Taio Stuart, age 9, silver
52kg – Fraser Drysdale, age 11, gold
52kg – Matthew Oliphant, age 10, silver
64kg – Finlay Friel, age 14, bronze
79kg – Douglas Nevins, bronze
ETKO Wrestling Academy is led by Viorel (Vio) Etko, a veteran world wrestling champion, eight-times British wrestling champion and Commonwealth bronze medallist. His fellow coach Nico Cojocaru is a five-times British title holder, who is currently ranked fifth in the world in his weight category.
Reflecting on the group’s success, Vio Etko, head coach, said: “For many of our young wrestlers, this was their first taste of competition at this level. The results achieved reflect the admirable commitment they give to their training – and their positive approach to new experiences.
“The bronze medal for Douglas is a further tremendous achievement at senior national level. We returned to Aberdeenshire as a very proud and happy group.”
ETKO Wrestling Academy members train at ETKO Sports Academy in Oldmeldrum. The company has recently invested in new wrestling matting to support the expansion of its wrestling programme, which continues to grow in popularity. Classes range from Mighty Movers for P1 children through to Train Like A Wrestler sessions for adults.