PICTURES +VIDEO: World Light Heavyweight wrestling championships
TO THE untrained eye it may have looked like a couple of lads having a friendly tussle on Truro’s Cathedral Green while dressed in sacks.
But to fans of Cornish wrestling – or ‘wrasslin’ as it is also known – the grappling match shown in our video shows the 400-year-old sport is alive and well in the county.
Cornwall’s capital played host to the World Light Heavyweight Championships on Saturday morning, and drew in healthy crowds of bemused spectators.
It is believed the sport is the oldest in Europe, and today is only practised in Cornwall and Brittany.
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Organised by the Cornish Wrestling Association, bouts consist of a unique set of moves, with participants wearing a distinctive cloth jacket.
Holding each other in a tight hitch, the aim is for one player to unbalance his opponent, watched over by referees known as “sticklers”. Traditionally the matches are staged in a circle of sand, and the rules are believed to go back centuries.
Peter Sheldon, secretary of the Cornish Wrestling Association, said: “Truro’s tournament has become an established part of the annual competition programme. It is a great occasion because we can offer both participants and spectators, who come from all over Cornwall and sometimes further afield, not only wrasslin in a spectacular venue, but also the chance to have a look round Truro’s shops. Let’s say it’s our contribution to world economic recovery.”