Western Sydney wrestler Jayden Lawrence grappled his way through two fights with a torn LCL to secure Australia’s first Commonwealth Games medal in the spot since 2010, where he struggled to walk out of the ring.
Lawrence took out a tough bout in Birmingham against South African Edward Lessing to bring home the bronze 11-10 on points.
27-year-old Jayden Lawrence hoists the Australian flag behind his back after taking out bronze in the 2022 Commonwealth Games 86kg freestyle wrestling
The cabinet maker by trade fought on with a tear in his anterior cruciate ligament against Pakistani Muhammad Inam, to advance past the quarter final.
The 27-year-old stormed to a 12-6 lead in the bronze match, but showed signs of physical fatigue when Lessing pegged down the Aussie to win five straight points.
The Camden based wrestler was denied the third place accolade at the 2014 Glasgow games, patiently waiting three commonwealth games to earn a podium spot.
Lawrence executes a takedown on South African Edward Lessing, edging out his opponent 11-10 on points
‘It’s been a long time coming,’ Lawrence said.
‘I’ve been training really, really hard for this. Given up a lot, I’m so happy.
In the Pakistan match I got a bit injured. Tore my LCL … in five minutes I won’t be able to walk.
Bloody oath (it was worth it).’
Lawrence was physically destroyed after his bronze match win, saying he would struggle to walk with his torn LCL
Lawrence competes in the 86kg freestyle category, where you earn points by legally holding down opponents, manoeuvring takedowns and throws.
The LCL (lateral collateral ligament) runs on the outer of the knee and links down to the top part of the fibula and up to the lower thigh.
Lawrence boasted the ability of his fellow Australian wrestlers, saying 97kg freestyler and Oceania champion Thomas Barns would bring home a placing.
‘I guarantee Thomas Barns is going to medal, I guarantee it. He has been coming to train with me and he has been working so hard.’
Lawrence grapples with Lessing in a tight bronze medal contest that went down to the final second
The veteran wrestler said even though there is zero money in the professional sport, his passion is enough to satisfy a 12-year medal journey.
Currently, wrestling has not been confirmed for the 2026 Commonwealth Games in regional Victoria.
Lawrence, who now coaches the sport, hopes his medal can prove to officials that Australians are more than competitive and worthy of a home birth.