By Tom Degun

Wrestling at_London_2012_test_event_ExCel_December_10_2011December 11 - The London 2012 wrestling test event at the ExCeL Arena has been overshadowed by criticism from the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles (FILA) President Raphaël Martinetti who hit out at British Wrestling during the two-day competition.

The event, titled the London International Invitational, saw some of the world's top stars in action but Martinetti was angry that wrestling officials were not being given seats at the other Olympic events taking place in the ExCeL and said that London 2012's plans for the a wrestling legacy after the Games were "totally stupid".

But the Swiss businessman was particularly critical of the British Wrestling due to the fact that the makeup of the British team includes five members who have recently qualified, or are still waiting, for British citizenship.

"Athletes have come from Ukraine and other countries, but this leaves no legacy from the Games," said Martinetti.

"In other sports in Britain you have athletes from Scotland and Wales.

"Why are athletes from there not taking part in the team?

"I think it's no good for the country.

"If they don't have British passports by May, we say bye-bye."

The FILA President was also critical of the lack of physical legacy for the sport in Britain after 2012, attacking the decision by London 2012 s to hire equipment for the Games on a temporary basis.

"After the Games I hoped there would be a legacy," said Martinetti.

"But, for example, there are 25 wrestling mats to be used, and according to the contract that London 2012 has with the company that sent the mats, after the Games these wrestling mats go back to France with the company.

"I think that is totally stupid.

"If you have 25 wrestling mats, for the legacy the mats should stay in the country. In every country that organises the Games, generally the mats go to that country.

"These mats should be distributed to the clubs."

Colin Nicholson, the chief executive of British Wrestling, claimed that Martinetti was wrong.

"The people we are working with are dedicated, they've been here for years and they've put a lot into British wrestling," he said.

"They are not here and gone tomorrow so that we're left with nothing.

"They have enabled us to construct a world-class programme and that is more than the sum of the individuals, it's a system.

"That is what UK Sport is funding us for.

"They're not funding us for a flash in the pan."

The test event action itself was not much better Britain as they struggled over the two days.

Yana Stadnik, a wrestler from the Ukraine who now hopes to represent Britain at London 2012, suffered a shock elimination in the first round of the women's 48kg freestyle category.

Olga Butkevych_London_2012_test_event_ExCel_December_10_2011
Olga Butkevych (pictured in blue) was the most successful performer among Team GB's wrestling squad as she reached the final of the 55kg category before losing out to Sofia Magdalena Mattsson of Sweden.

Elsewhere, Krasimir Krastanov, Sasha Madyarchyk, Philip Roberts and Sarah Connolly all fell at the first hurdle, while Chloe Spiteri went out in the quarter-finals and Beckhan Aldamov exited in the semi-finals.

The competition took place over the same two days as the weightlifting test event, which was also staged in the ExCeL, while the two events were the last to be staged in 2011.

Test events will resume next year with gymnastics in January at the O2 – or the North Greenwich Arena as it will be known during London 2012 due to sponsorship restrictions imposed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

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