Bolton Olympic Wrestling Club member Craig Pilling's Commonwealth delight

Craig Pilling

Craig Pilling

First published in Sport The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , sports writer

EVEN though he may have brought home a bronze medal from the Commonwealth Games, Bolton’s Craig Pilling admits it was not the best performance of his life.

The 27-year-old battled some stiff competition from England’s Omar Tafail in the third and fourth place play-off in the 57kg category.

Speaking just hours after being on the podium, Pilling said: “I think I did not wrestle well but did enough to get a medal.

“I would have wished to have done better but at least I did it.

“Omar is a great wrestler but I think that my experience saw me through.”

The day had started well for the ex-Turton School pupil defeating Scotland’s Ross McFarlane 9-0 before losing out to Ebikweminmo Welson 10-0.

But he had no problems losing to the Nigerian – someone he lost out to in 2010 Games.

He said: “It was a good result because he is a really tough opponent. “Of course I was a bit disappointed not to make the final but I knew that the bronze bout would be important.

“At the start of the competition I would have been just happy to medal.”

Craig admitted after the win, it was a whirlwind of activity with TV cameras and media attention.

But he was more concerned about family and friends back home.

He said: “I am very happy and am thankful to the club and coaches.

“I owe a lot to Jesse Bradley and he has been fantastic.

“The club has not had anyone winning medals at the Commonwealths since 1986-94, so it is nice for them to be able to get another.

“Hopefully, it will inspire some of the other juniors at the club to go on and compete at this international level.

“I have been doing wrestling for more than 10 years and trying to reach the top.

“This is just what I have wanted to achieve ever since I started...win a medal at a top international event.”

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