A packed Wirksworth Leisure Centre was brimming as Middleton and Wirksworth Freestyle Wrestling Club played host to 170 entrants from all over the UK and Europe in the tenth Derbyshire Open at the weekend.
Siblings James (47kg) and Katy (64kg) Colebourne took full honours as the pair cruised to their finals where confidence was rife, both producing class wrestling to bag gold medals with James also taking the Coaches’ Choice Wrestler of the Competition award.
In the biggest mis-match of the day, Raina Cooper (70kg) found herself up against a Ukrainian champion who called in on the way from the European Championships. A win was a long shot but the Dales wrestler showed good composure and took the fight to her opponent but the outcome was predictable and Raina picked up silver.
Lewis Brown (33kg) had a slow start to the day that spoilt his chance of a gold but his great redemption in his next three fights bagged him a silver.
An eager Thomas Phillips (31kg) was on fire in his qualifying bouts where he failed to concede a single point in his first three victories, but new rules and shorter wrestling time thwarted his run and left him in second place.
Middleton and Wirksworth’s remaining female wrestlers Laila Brown (29kg),Shannon Harrison (26kg) and Harriette Phillips failed to take full advantage of the respective finals and achieved another trio of silvers.
In another tough group, 40kg Shaun Thorpe matched Lewis Brown’s start to the day but again finished on a high with a spectacular crowd-pleasing final bout and picked up a well deserving bronze for all his efforts.
In yet another tough draw, club favourite Brandon Harrison (51kg) gave away three years to his competitors but gave it his all and after a long tiring day he missed out on the silverware to take fourth place.
In his debut competition, Oliver Muzyczka (61kg) did his coaches justice with good defence and solid groundwork and did enough to show medals will soon follow with more experience.
After watching his children Solomon (24kg) and Isaac (44kg) earn themselves a second and a fourth place, veteran Steve Bennett (79kg) could not resist having a grapple himself and earned his first bronze medal.