Kiwi wrestlers to fight for two bronzes after rough start

Brodyn Knuckey
Source: 1News

New Zealand have a chance to win two wrestling medals on Saturday morning with Tayla Ford and Matthew Oxenham both set to contest bronze medal matches in Coventry.

Matthew Oxenham in action in Birmingham.

Ford and Oxenham will compete in the evening session local time after a mixed day of results for the New Zealand wrestling team at the Commonwealth Games.

Early in the day, Brahm Richards and Oxenham both suffered defeats by technical superiority which sent them to the repechages of the men's freestyle 65kg and men's freestyle 86kg competitions, respectively.

While Richards suffered another loss, Oxenham was able to earn himself a shot at the podium with a points victory over Sheku Kassegbama of Sierra Leone, taking the contest 3-1.

That left Ford as the only other Kiwi yet to compete on Friday night and her first contest wasn't easy in the women's freestyle 68kg division with English champion Sarah Clossick her opponent.

However, Ford managed to dominate Clossick for a win by technical superiority to advance to the semi-finals where she faced more stiff competition in former world champion Linda Morais from Canada.

Ford and Morais were locked in a tight bout with Morais only gaining a slight advantage in the first period to lead by two points. Ford responded instantly in the second period though, taking the lead with four points earned before Morais replied with four points of her own late.

As a result, the Canadian was handed the win on points 3-1, sending her to the gold medal match while Ford while contest Mauritian Amylee Sephora Aza for the bronze.

Before her bout, Oxenham will face Canada's Alex Moore for his own bronze.