20 Mar 2014

Sport: Olympic wrestling places on offer in American Samoa

12:45 pm on 20 March 2014

The Oceania Continental Wrestling Championships get underway in Pago Pago, American Samoa, on Wednesday local time, with senior and junior titles up for grabs, along with spots at the Youth Olympic Games.

Among the countries attending are Australia, New Zealand, Palau, Nauru, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga and the hosts American Samoa.

The chair of the Oceania Council, John Tarkong Jr, says the events will not only help develop Oceania athletes but provides them an opportunity to fellowship and to hopefully make it to the Olympics.

"I think there's a lot of excitement in the air and you see that happening here. We have Australia and New Zealand being one of the strong teams but we see our athletes in the region stepping up to that level and hopefully we can use this championships to identify those athletes who can move on, especially in preparation for the Olympics."

The athletes also participated in a training camp prior to the start of the Oceania tournament while referees attended a two day course.