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Four medals for SA at World Championships

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Host nation South Africa won four medals at the World Tug-of-War Championships held in Cape Town, writes MARK ETHERIDGE.

Camps Bay High School was the venue for the 24th staging of the World Championships, staged over two days on the lush green fields.

The SA medal haul was made up of two silver and two bronze medals.

The silvers came in the U19 520 kilogram mixed category and the U23 500kg women’s division.

Bronze medals went to the U23 600kg men’s team and the 720kg men’s division. The last-mentioned medal was a long time coming as the last time SA won a medal in this division was 42 years ago, back in 1976.

With the Cape experiencing late winter, the World Championships were preceded by the World Club Championships which were affected by wet and miserable conditions.

Thankfully things picked up for the two days needed for World Championships, as did the number of spectators.

SA Tug-of-War Federation president Anton Botha was a happy man after the championships, which boasted more than 1000 competitors from 20 countries.

‘The positive feedback regarding the World Championships was overwhelming, with several foreigners mentioning that this was “the best ever” World Championships.

‘The camaraderie, the friendships across cultural barriers were something special to behold.’

Silver medal winner (Under-19 520kg mixed) Albert van Zyl, said it was an amazing experience to take part in a world championship on home soil.

‘All the hard practising, the sweat and tears… was worth it. When that medal is hung around your neck you feel both peace and happiness at the same time.

‘We went through tremendous pressure while we were pulling but once you step onto the podium you can finally relax in the knowledge that you gave your best. It was an amazing experience to have been able to take part in the World Championships.’

PHOTO: The 480kg U19 women’s side in action at World Championships (from left to right): Coach Zoë Zeeman, Jana Fouche, Anri Roscher, Janke Vorster, Katinka Naude, Anneke Rabe, Ena-Mari Burger and Tania van der Spuy, picture by Lynn Liebenberg


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