New Zealand Dominant on Opening Day of Oceania Championships as Moceyawa, Ford, Belkin Repeat

By United World Wrestling Press

PIRAE (March 10) – New Zealand dominated on the opening day of competition at the Oceania Wrestling Championships, claiming gold medals in eight of the 14 weight classes contested in the freestyle wrestling and women’s wrestling competitions. 

Australia and Palau won a pair of gold medals. Nauru and Guam each had champions as well. 

Ana MOCEYAWA (58kg), Tayla FORD (63kg), and Sam BELKIN (97kg) all repeated as gold medalists for New Zealand.  

Moceyawa earned two falls en route to her title at 58kg. She was pushed early by Rckaela AQUINO (GUM). After Moceyawa went up 4-0, Aquino turned the tables, nearly earning a fall two minutes into the match and grabbing the lead on criteria. Moceyawa then turned it up, scoring eight unanswered points before securing a fall late in the match.

Ford, a 2014 Commonwealth Games bronze medalist, picked up three falls in three matches to secure the gold medal at 63kg. All three of her falls came in under a minute. Ford has now won a gold medal at the Oceania Wrestling Championships in each of the last four years. 

Belkin, also a Commonwealth Games bronze medalist, was untested en route to winning his third Oceania freestyle gold medal. He did not surrender a point in three 10-0 technical fall victories. He defeated Jacob PEPPER EDWARDS (NZL) in the final.   

Two other women won gold for New Zealand, Shiralee BEAUMONT (69kg) and Michelle Yvonne MONTAGUE (75kg). Ricky WELSFORD (57kg), Jordan MARSHALL (65kg) and Akash KHULLAR (74kg) rounded out New Zealand’s gold medalists on Friday.   

Beaumont was unchallenged in winning her gold medal, earning a fall at 1:14 over Jacinta PUAAULI (ASA). She countered an attack, and then was able to drive over the American Samoa wrestler for the fall.

Montague was unscored upon in three matches, earning a fall and two technical fall victories to earn the gold medal at 75kg. Her most notable victory came over returning champion Shantelle THOMPSON (AUS), 10-0. 

Welsford rolled to his title at 57kg with two first-period falls and a 10-0 technical fall victory. 

Marshall overcame a 5-0 deficit to defeat Liam NEYLAND (AUS) by technical fall, 16-5 in final at 65kg. Neyland scored early with four-point throw and step out. Marshall responded with a four-point move of his own and dominated the rest of the way. 

Khullar won all four his matches by technical fall to secure the gold medal at 74kg. He defeated fellow New Zealand wrestler Brahm RICHARDS 13-3 in the final. 

Australia crowned a champion both the women’s wrestling and freestyle wrestling competitions with Jessica LAVERS-MCBAIN (53kg) and Connor EVANS (86kg). 

Lavers-McBain, a champion last year at 48kg, earned a quick fall against Kristina WHAREKURA (NZL). She scored an early takedown off a single leg, and then immediately went to work in par terre, scoring exposure points before throwing Wharekura to her back and securing the fall in just under a minute.

Evans came through a bracket of 10 wrestlers to take the title at 86kg, outscoring his opposition 30-0 en route to three technical fall victories. His gold-medal victory came over Toby FITZPATRICK (NZL), who had outscored his competition 30-2 before facing Evans in the final. 

Guam claimed a gold medal in women’s wrestling as Mia-Lahnee AQUINO cruised to a 12-3 victory over Carissa-Jane HOLLAND (AUS) at 55kg. Aguino used two first-period takedowns to grab a 4-1 lead at the break. The match remained competitive until the final minute when Aquino broke the match open to win by nine points. 

Cristian NICOLESCU (61kg) and Florian TEMENGIL (125kg) gave Palau two gold medalists in freestyle wrestling. 

Nicolescu edged Suraj SINGH (NZL) 10-8 in the gold-medal match at 61kg. Singh appeared to be in control early, as he raced out to a 6-2 lead on the strength of two takedowns and a turn off a gut wrench.  Nicolescu, though, methodically worked his way back into the match, eventually taking the lead midway through the second period and holding on for a hard-fought two-point victory.

Temengil, a two-time Olympian, captured his 11th Oceania gold medal since 2011, and seventh in freestyle, with two first-period falls at 125kg. Both falls came in under a minute. 

Maverick KUN (NRU) grabbed gold at 70kg, earning falls over wrestlers from Micronesia and French Polynesia, giving Nauru its lone gold medalist on Friday. 

In the junior freestyle competition, Samuel HARRISON (55kg) and Suraj SINGH (60kg) won gold medals for New Zealand. Other junior freestyle champions included Paul AGUON III (GUM) at 66kg and Iafeta VOU (ASA) at 74kg. 

Cadet freestyle champions included Ryan Marshall (NZL) at 69kg and Terangi Vinckier (PYF) at 76kg. 

Junior women’s champions were Mystique Aaliyah Tatiana TOWNSEND (NZL) at 48kg and Aliena Coleman (AUS) at 72kg.

The Oceania Wrestling Championships resume on Saturday with the Greco-Roman competition. Wrestling is scheduled to get underway at 10:00. The medal matches are slated for 18:00, while the gold-medal matches are set for 19:00. 



Round 3:  Ricky David WELSFORD (NZL) df. Jérôme SOLERY (PYF) by FALL, 10-0  
Round 3:  Tae Wook NAM (NZL) df. Ryan Werring MCCORMICK (NZL) by TF, 14-4  
Round 2:  Ricky David WELSFORD (NZL) df. Tae Wook NAM (NZL) by FALL, 10-0  
Round 2:  Ryan Werring MCCORMICK (NZL) df. Jérôme SOLERY (PYF), 10-8  
Round 1:  Ricky David WELSFORD (NZL) df. Ryan Werring MCCORMICK (NZL) by FALL, 4-0  
Round 1:  Tae Wook NAM (NZL) df. Jérôme SOLERY (PYF) by TF, 10-0  

GOLD:  Cristian Etpison NICOLESCU (PLW) df. Suraj Shahil SINGH (NZL), 10-8  
BRONZE:  Drake Richard Bordallo TORRES (GUM) df. Thomas Louis CICCHINI (AUS) by TF, 10-0  

GOLD:  Jordan Wayde MARSHALL (NZL) df. Liam Brice NEYLAND (AUS) by TF, 16-5  
BRONZE:  Lowe BINGHAM (NRU) df. Heimana PIHA (PYF) by FALL, 8-0  

Round 3:  Jr. Thomas H. WICHILBUCH (FSM) df. Teva Raymon MANARANI (PYF) by TF, 10-0  
Round 2:  Maverick KUN (NRU) df. Teva Raymon MANARANI (PYF) by FALL, 6-4  
Round 1:  Maverick KUN (NRU) df. Jr. Thomas H. WICHILBUCH (FSM) by FALL, 8-4  

GOLD:  Akash KHULLAR (NZL) df. Brahm RICHARDS (NZL) by TF, 13-3  
BRONZE:  John Geronimo Butaud ROJAS (GUM) df. Tumauiroa Axel NORDMAN (PYF), 15-8  
BRONZE:  Iafeta Peni VOU (ASA) df. William Washington Faatoa AHNNE (PYF) by TF, 11-0 

GOLD:  Connor James EVANS (AUS) df. Toby Robert FITZPATRICK (NZL) by TF, 10-0  
BRONZE:  Nathaniel Tuifao TUAMOHELOA (ASA) df. Tevaihi, Allan, Nicolas TRAFTON (PYF) by FALL, 4-0  
BRONZE:  Jonathan Manutea BIAREZ (PYF) df. Tamahau Melville MC COMB (PYF), 4-1  

GOLD:  Samuel Stephen BELKIN (NZL) df. Jacob Raymond PEPPER EDWARDS (NZL) by TF, 10-0  
BRONZE:  Tauenaena, Bernard TEINAORE (PYF) df. Hiro Edgar GREIG (PYF) by FALL, 8-0  
BRONZE:  Christopher James GALBRAITH CLARK (AUS) df. Haunui Tristan Cédric Tinitua TARAUFAU (PYF) by TF, 13-2  

Round 3:  Florian Skilang TEMENGIL (PLW) df. Jean-François Tini TAUTU (PYF) by FALL, 4-0  
Round 2:  Florian Skilang TEMENGIL (PLW) df. Loic Tino Soane TAUTU (PYF) by FALL, 5-0  
Round 1:  Loic Tino Soane TAUTU (PYF) df. Jean-François Tini TAUTU (PYF) by FALL, 6-0  

Women’s wrestling

Round 1:  Jessica Schrader LAVERS MCBAIN (AUS) df. Kristina Maria WHAREKURA (NZL) by FALL, 4-0  

Round 1:  Mia-Lahnee Ramos AQUINO (GUM) df. Carissa-Jane HOLLAND (AUS), 12-3  

Round 3:  Ana Buiqumu Pauline MOCEYAWA (NZL) df. Taylor Maree FLATMAN BATEMAN (AUS) by FALL, 6-0  
Round 2:  Ana Buiqumu Pauline MOCEYAWA (NZL) df. Rckaela Maree Ramos AQUINO (GUM) by FALL, 12-4  
Round 1:  Rckaela Maree Ramos AQUINO (GUM) df. Taylor Maree FLATMAN BATEMAN (AUS) by FALL, 2-0  

Round 3:  Tayla Tuahine FORD (NZL) df. Simone Heka REYNOLDS (NZL) by FALL, 2-0  
Round 3:  Sarah Ann Elizabeth HILLS (NZL) df. Flore Charlyne Danielle Fatima HANI (PYF) by FALL, 4-4  
Round 2:  Flore Charlyne Danielle Fatima HANI (PYF) df. Simone Heka REYNOLDS (NZL) by FALL, 4-0  
Round 2:  Tayla Tuahine FORD (NZL) df. Sarah Ann Elizabeth HILLS (NZL) by FALL, 2-0  
Round 1:  Sarah Ann Elizabeth HILLS (NZL) df. Simone Heka REYNOLDS (NZL) by FALL, 6-2  
Round 1:  Tayla Tuahine FORD (NZL) df. Flore Charlyne Danielle Fatima HANI (PYF) by FALL, 4-0  

Round 1:  Shiralee Ann BEAUMONT (NZL) df. Jacinta Sandra PUAAULI (ASA) by FALL, 4-0  

Round 3:  Shantelle Joan THOMPSON (AUS) df. Koria Maxine POURI-LANE (NZL) by FALL, 4-2  
Round 3:  Michelle Yvonne MONTAGUE (NZL) df. Aliena Joy COLEMAN (AUS) by TF, 10-0  
Round 2:  Michelle Yvonne MONTAGUE (NZL) df. Koria Maxine POURI-LANE (NZL) by FALL, 2-0  
Round 2:  Shantelle Joan THOMPSON (AUS) df. Aliena Joy COLEMAN (AUS) by FALL, 6-0  
Round 1:  Aliena Joy COLEMAN (AUS) df. Koria Maxine POURI-LANE (NZL) by FALL, 6-2  
Round 1:  Michelle Yvonne MONTAGUE (NZL) df. Shantelle Joan THOMPSON (AUS) by TF, 10-0