Australia has won 3 medals at the Olympic games in wrestling. The last time was 1948 in London, and we have never won gold. So it’s fair to say there would be plenty of celebrations if we ended up on the podium, in Rio next year. Two old friends who grew up together in Uzbekistan, just might be the combination to win us a wrestling medal for the first time in 68 years. Talgat Ilyasov arrived here in 2000, looking for opportunity, and was chosen to represent Australia, at the Athens Olympic games in 2004. When a serious spinal injury struck just before the event, ruling him out. Everybody wants to be in the Olympic games, so once you get the chance to compete in that and then withdraw because of an injury, I think its, not a good experience. After initially being told that he would not be able to wrestle competitively again because of the injury. Talgat got the itch to get back on the mats after a couple of years out. I like wrestling, I like grappling, they are the sports where you can challenge yourself in terms of skills. When I recovered, a friend of mine he asked… You still train, you’re still fit, you feel strong, why don’t you compete again? That friend was national skills coach Kostya Ermakovich, who joined his old mate in Australia, form Uzbekistan in 2004. I actually asked him if he wants to give it a shot, for the Olympics in Rio. So we spoke about it, and he said why not, so we started training a bit harder. Before he can compete in Rio, Talgat will have to qualify via tournaments such as the up coming World Championships in Las Vegas. Talgat has had some promising results recently, winning a gold medal in the prestigious Canada Cup in June this year. Canada Cup showed me what level I am at the moment. It’s a good experience for me. Rio is the ultimate goal. But you have to get to Rio first. In the meantime Talgat will continue to come to the AIS for training camps in the lead up to Rio. The AIS is a very good place to train, because you’ve got all the facilities that you need for preparing for any competition, at any level. You’ve got good food, you’ve got recovery areas, you’ve got mats, good quality mats, and training facilities.