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Wrestlers undergo intense training

Scotland's Commonwealth Games wrestlers are currently undergoing intense training in the Baltic nation of Moldova in preparation for this summer's games.

Based at a training camp in the capital, Chisinau, this is just one in a series of opportunities the Scottish athletes have had in the past year and a half to test their abilities against a range of highly skilled wrestlers from Eastern Europe, having previously attended training camps in Romania and Ukraine.

As President of the Scottish Wrestling Association, Victor Keelan said: "The team is currently training in Moldova due to the higher standard of training partner with Moldovans and Eastern Europeans being strong in the sport of wrestling, so it's a good grounding for our athletes to wrestle world class athletes over there.

He continued: "Obviously wrestling is a minority sport, but it's very strong in Canada, India, South Africa, the USA, Russia and Georgia and Turkey. So, a lot of good Eastern European athletes are based in Moldova. In fact, one of the training partners is a former silver medallist at the world championships. We've also had Moldovan athletes over training in Scotland twice in the last three months as well."

Although Moldova seems like a far distance to travel for a bout of wrestling, Victor and the rest of the team have started to notice great improvements from the athletes in the run up to the games.

"We've seen a big improvement in results when we've been traveling abroad with our team and we've started to see the benefits of their training partners and also the experience of going to these training camps."

While in Moldova the Scottish team will be undergoing a great deal of strength and conditioning training plus a lot of fitness work as well.

The real benefit of the training camp however, is the range of sparring partners the Scots will have to face off against. As Victor explained: "They're getting to wrestle different types of partner and understand different movements, different techniques to help them. Because obviously with wrestling being a minority sport over here we have a lack of training partners so its very beneficial, particularly to our female athletes as female wrestling is very new in terms of the Commonwealth Games having only first appeared at Delhi."

The team will return to Scotland before the male competitors head to Italy and the women to Austria for their final competitions before the Commonwealth Games in July.

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