The South African Wrestling Federation (SAWF) is proud to officially announce the hosting of the 2017 Commonwealth Wrestling Championships. The Commonwealth Championships will take place from the 14th to the 17th of December 2017 at the Carnival City Big Top Arena in Brakpan, South Africa.
The international countries invited to participate are from all Commonwealth nations, and includes international wrestling giants such as Canada, Great Britain, India, Pakistan, Wales, Australia, New Zealand and Nigeria.
Other international federations have already indicated their interest, as this event is used by most international federations and national sport regulating bodies to qualify their participants for the quadrennial 2018 Commonwealth Games to be hosted in Gold Coast, Australia, in April 2018.
Categories and weight divisions will be confirmed following upon the United World Wrestling’s decision on the new Olympic weight categories, which will be discussed at the Senior World Wrestling Championships taking place in Paris, France from 20 to 26 August 2017. Disciplines will include Men’s Freestyle, Men’s Greco-Roman and Women’s Wrestling, where all participants are in the senior age group. Where the Commonwealth Games Wrestling events do not host Men’s Greco-Roman Wrestling as a discipline, the discipline will be hosted at the South African Commonwealth Wrestling Championships to provide the opportunity for these participants.
The South African team will be selected by the Coaches Council after the national trials which will be hosted on the 21st of October 2017 at the Northern Gauteng Competition Hall in Menlo Park. Wrestlers have been informed of the requirements for team selection well in advance, and preparations are well under way. The senior team have been on an international training camp at the annual Grand Prix of Spain, held annually in Madrid in July. Local wrestlers faired exceptionally well with the young Martin Erasmus from Brakpan placing 2nd in his division, losing on points to 2016 Rio Olympic Champion, Kyle Snyder.
South Africa successfully hosted the Commonwealth Championships twice before. The first event was the 2005 Commonwealth Championships hosted in Stellenbosch, Cape Town, at the University of Stellenbosch. A total of 89 wrestlers competed at this event from 5 different countries. Thereafter, South Africa successfully hosted the 2013 Commonwealth Championships in Johannesburg, from 5 to 7 December, at the Kempton Park Indoor Sports Centre in Bonaero Park. A total of 170 wrestlers competed from the various countries in the Men’s Freestyle, Greco-Roman and Women’s Wrestling styles.
Consequently a team of 11 South African wrestlers were selected to compete at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games – where 2 wrestlers returned to South Africa with medals (2 bronze medals).