Freshly struck medalist Tom Barns says the Australian wrestling team has proved its critics wrong with their double bronze success at the Commonwealth Games.
One day later Jayden Lawrence ended Australia’s 12-year wrestling medal drought at the Games, Barns collected another bronze.
Barns dominated Samoa’s Maulalo Alofipo for a 12-0 win in Saturday night’s 97kg freestyle bronze medal match in Birmingham.
“There was a little bit of doubt about the wrestling team, just in their competence,” Barns said.
“And there was a real sense of just wanting to prove everyone wrong, that we are a medal worthy team at these Games.
“But two bronze medals is just the beginning. We want to build on this, get better and stronger.
“We don’t settle for two bronzes, we want to be gold medals and one of the top teams.”
And the 21-year-old from Western Australia hopes the double success in Birmingham will help promote the sport he loves.
Barns coaches wrestling in Perth and also studies strength and conditioning.
“That’s one of my biggest passions, I just really want to grow our sport,” he said.
“It has been the best thing for me as a person to develop.
“I want other people to have that opportunity to really use it as a tool to grow who they are.”
Another member of the six-man Australian wrestling team missed a medal on Saturday with Naomi de Bruin losing 12-0 in her bronze medal 76kg freestyle fight against Indian Pooja Sihag.