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Melling wrestles for gold
John Melling in action at the 1994 Commonwealth Games in Victoria
John is hoping to strike gold in Manchester this year
Commonwealth silver medallist John Melling tells BBC Sport Academy everything you need to know about wrestling.

How did you get into wrestling?

I first got into it to improve my groundwork for judo.

But I found I liked wrestling better, so I decided to ditch judo and concentrate on wrestling.

Describe your sport in a few paragraphs?

Victory can be achieved in three ways: by fall, points and default.

A match is six minutes long and is split into two three-minute rounds.

What are the three main rules in your event?

John Melling holds Nigerian wrestler Igali Baraladei
Wrestling is all about power, skill and speed

If neither wrestler has scored more than three points after the six minutes, they have to continue for a further three minutes until three more points have been scored.

The match can be finished before the six minutes if one wrestler gets 10 points clear of the other.

The match can also be finished if one wrestler pins his opponent.

This is when both shoulder blades touch the mat at the same time for one second or longer.

Briefly describe the basic scoring system in weightlifting?

One point can be scored if you take your opponent down onto the mat.

Two points are scored when you expose your opponent's shoulders onto the mat.

Three points are scored when you take your opponent from a standing position onto their back.

John Melling is thrown in a wrestling match
You have to be very fit to wrestle

Five points are award when you do a high amplitude throw - when you pick your opponent up and throw them down onto the mat.

What three physical or mental attributes do you need to have to become a successful weightlifter?

Wrestling is all about speed, flexibility and power.

You need to have good balance, good co-ordination and mental toughness to get you through the close matches.

What's the funniest thing that has happened to you while competing?

One time I was in a close match I clashed heads with my opponent.

I felt a sharp pain to my head, but when I looked over to the crowd, they were all pointing at me and laughing at me.

It turned out I had a huge egg-shaped lump on my head!

:: Sport Academy has moved

John Melling factfile
Age: 31
Home town: Leigh, Lancashire
Weight: 66kgs
Studying: Psychology at the Simon Fraser University, British Columbia, Canada

Highlight of John's career
"Winning silver at the Commonwealth Games in Victoria in 1994"

Did you know?
Wrestling is one of the oldest sports in the world
There are two different types of wrestling - freestyle and Greco-Roman
Only freestyle wrestling is on offer at the Commonwealth Games

:: Melling wrestles for the cause
:: Getting to grips with wrestling
:: Wrestling event guide

:: FILA - Wrestling's world governing body

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