BOLTON Olympic Wrestling Club took 14 athletes in total to the annual Helsinki Open, which is a leading Nordic freestyle wrestling tournament with categories ranging throughout the child and senior divisions.

This year saw a record number of participating countries, teams and wrestlers attend with more than 500 individual entries.

BOWC finished seventh in the overall team standings and came away with three gold medals, one silver medal and three bronze medals.

Harry Meadows, Ella Johnson and James Smith all won gold, with Arin Sekirden wrestling hard to bring home silver, while Liam Husband, Lewis Mulligan and Charlie Meadows finished third in their divisions at the prestigious international tournament.

Coach Lee Meadows said: "There were also impressive performances from all our competitors at this very tough European competition, including Nathan Livesey, Harry Lancelott, Cameron Leader, Stefan Gradwell, Lucy McGrath, Abdullah Hussain and Bradley Metcalfe."

Bolton Olympic coaches Jesse Bradbury and Leslie Kay also attended the event as part of the British National Talent Squad training set-up.

Their athletes – Harvey Ridings, Muhammad Mokaev, and Kelsie Barnes, who also competes for Sharples Wrestling Club – were equally impressive, with Mokaev clinching a gold medal, Ridings taking bronze and Barnes just missing the podium with a fourth-placed finish.

Hannu Rantala, event organiser, said: "The Bolton team and those wrestling in the British national talent squad showed amazing team spirit, with incredible support displayed for each other from both parents and athletes alike.

"We look forward to seeing the Bolton wrestlers return next year."

Sharples member Georgina Nelthorpe has also been busy on the international circuit, winning silver at the Henri Deglane seniors tournament in Nice, France.

The strength of wrestling in the town is expected to be underlined in the coming weeks, with Harwood-born Sharples wrestler George Ramm and Westhoughton-based Charlie Bowling expected to be confirmed in the England squad for next year's Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia.