22.08.2008 – Graham Croker

Australia’s first female Olympic wrestler, Kyla Bremner, was eliminated in the opening round of the Beijing Olympic Games women’s 48kg competition at the China Agricultural University Gymnasium.

Bremner, 31, was beaten on points in two rounds by Korea’s Hyung-Joo Kim.

The Korean scored with a double leg take down in the opening round and a single leg take down in the second round enabled her to roll Bremner on her back and hold her down for the required five seconds for an extra point.

“I was pretty nervous, but I tried to treat it like any other wrestling match,” Bremner said after the loss.

“I just didn’t quite get into it today and I wasn’t able to make any good attacks. I want to have another chance, I want to come back to the Olympics and do better next time.”

The Sydney University wrestling Blue and medical graduate, pre-qualified for Beijing Games selection when she won her division at the Oceania trials in Canberra earlier in the year and then awaited notification of her Olympic berth from Swiss-based FILA, the sport’s governing body, and from the Australian Olympic Committee.

As a practising medical practitioner, Bremner had a tough time making it to Beijing.

“I kept my private life away from work, so none of my patients knew about Beijing,” she says. “But I did talk about it a lot with colleagues and they have been fantastic.”

Bremner said her colleagues had swapped shifts to help her out with travel to pre-Games tournaments.

“I had to become very disciplined with balancing work and training, even though it meant I didn’t get a lot of time to see my friends or family,” she said.

But with the Beijing experience behind her, she’s has hinted that the 2012 London Games are on the agenda.