Updated: Monday, 20th November 2017 @ 5:34pm

Rio 2016 too soon, but Manchester wrestler Daniel Panczyszyn targets 2020 Olympic Games

Rio 2016 too soon, but Manchester wrestler Daniel Panczyszyn targets 2020 Olympic Games

By Paul Smith

Greater Manchester freestyle wrestler Daniel Panczyszyn is desperate for his sport to remain part of the Olympic programme so he can one day compete on the biggest stage for his country.

The Oasis Academy Oldham pupil, who lives in Newton Heath, has won the British Junior title in each of the six years he has been competing as a wrestler.

That has spurred him on to want to compete for Great Britain at the Olympic Games – with Rio 2016 a possibility but the 2020 games perhaps more realistic.

And 15-year-old Panczyszyn – who admits the host country didn’t fare too well in wrestling at London 2012 – hopes to at least be given the chance of fulfilling his dream.

“I am into my seventh year wrestling and I have won the British Junior Championships six times,” said the Bolton Wrestling Club member.

“I haven’t won every single competition I have entered but I have been able to concentrate and get my mind set on that date and be able to win the main competition.

“It has given me a lot of confidence in my ability and it drives me to want to achieve even more.

“Obviously we don’t know for definite what will happen to wrestling as an Olympic sport but I just hope it stays.

“It's what every sportsperson dreams about, especially in a sport like wrestling where the Olympics are the highest level so it is in the back of my mind. I try to concentrate and not think too much into the future, though, and just want to see how it goes.

“I think Rio would possibly be a bit too soon as I won’t be at my peak by then. With wrestling I need to fill out a bit more and I will probably be more at my peak in 2020.”

He was speaking after being named on the Lloyds TSB Local Heroes scheme for a fourth successive year, a programme from which he receives a cash injection of £1,000 towards training and competing.

Lloyds TSB Local Heroes, in partnership with SportsAid, has supported 1,000 of Britain’s most talented developing athletes.

 As part of Lloyds TSB’s commitment to helping future sports stars prosper, the programme will continue in 2013. Follow future stars at facebook.com/lloydstsblocalheroes”

Image courtesy of Sportsbeat Videos, via YouTube, with thanks

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