Patrick Martinez (NYAC) likes getting his passport stamped almost as much as he likes competing. Luckily for him, the two often coincide with each other.
Just as he did last month in Poland, Martinez is once again gearing up for a solo jaunt overseas, this time at the Grand Prix of Spain. The Greco Roman portion of the event is taking place this Saturday (July 9th) in Madrid. Martinez made the Senior World Team last year at 80 kg and this year’s University World Team at 85. In Poland, the 26-year old competed at 80 kg and that came with a two kg allowance. It is presumed that will be the case again this time around, as well, since this tournament also comes with the same weight class flexibility.
It is shaping up to be a busy summer for Martinez. He won in Akron to make the World Team; a few weeks later he was in Spala, Poland where he took third; now he’s in Spain preparing for the Spanish Grand Prix. After that, it’s onto training for the University World Championships which are set for October. It could be an even busier year overall should Martinez elect to attempt to make the non-Olympic weight Worlds (that selection process has not been officially announced, though it is believed it will be the Bill Farrell in November).
Patrick Martinez has not been a lifelong Greco Roman competitor. In fact, he only picked up the sport on a full-time basis two years ago. So he wants to get matches in and he wants to get them now. That makes his sudden rise as one of the nation’s top Greco athletes all the more impressive. If you ask US National Team head coach Matt Lindland, adventures like this are practically a necessity.
“It is important for him to take his career in his own hands and get over there, get some matches in, get some experience and get some training in while he’s at it”, Lindland said. And that is what Martinez is trying to do. As for who he might see in Spain, that is up in the air just yet. Recently a fair number of Rio-bound competitors have been filling up brackets in Poland and Germany, so it’s a safe assumption some will also be hitting the mats at the Grand Prix of Spain. That would likely serve as another competitive incentive for Martinez, though it is highly unlikely he needs one, what, with two trips to Europe inside of a month by himself under his belt.
We’ll have more on this story going forward along with coverage of Martinez on Saturday. Stay tuned!