Tayla Ford dominates to win bronze for NZ in wrestling

Source: 1News

Tayla Ford is bringing a medal home for the Kiwi wrestling team, winning bronze in the 68kg women's freestyle - her second Commonwealth Games medal.

Ford dominated, taking her opponent Mauritian Amylee Sephora Aza to the ground within seconds to pin her and win 4-0.

It was Ford's second medal at a Commonwealth Games following her bronze in Glasglow in 2014.

Following her victory, Ford told 1News she felt relaxed heading into the match.

“I went in there with lots of confidence and I felt ready physically and mentally.”

At one point, Ford almost stopped wrestling and was not sure if she could make another pinnacle event.

She said that achieving this bronze was harder than her journey to the podium in Glasgow due to the mental struggles she had to overcome.

“For this competition I was willing to stop trying to qualify in order to just focus on financials and stuff like that, just because I couldn’t see that as a possibility," she said.

“I got to speak to someone which helped pick me up and motivate me even more."

Also a proud Māori, Ford was emotional when talking about the honour she feels in representing her culture and immersing herself in it with the New Zealand team.

“I’m very proud. I haven’t been home in four years so being a part of the Haka, it was really good.

“It's been a long time since I’ve gotten to represent my country, I’m happy.”

The multi-sport veteran has competed competitively since she was 16 and has two jobs outside of wrestling.

In the 86kg men's freestyle bronze medal match, 22-year-old Kiwi Matthew Oxenham put up a good effort finishing in fourth place to Canada's Alex Moore.