The National Training Centre (NTC) in Bloemfontein was a hive of activity on Wednesday, with the Chinese Taipei and Team South Africa tug-of-war teams sweating it out as they underwent testing and toured the facility.
The first testing experience for the Chinese Taipei tug-of-war team in South Africa was an intense process as opposed to what they are used to back home.
Says Hsu Yu Ning, one of the Chinese Taipei tug of war team members: The testing is very special to us because we havent done some types of the testing back home. In addition, the testing here is longer than how we test back home so we have to endure more.
Sharing the same sentiments, Amos Tanapima, also a Chinese Taipei tug-of-war team member said, The testing was more stressful than the way we do it at home but this managed to test our endurance which will enable us to practise more so that we are stronger.
The team coach for the Chinese Taipei commended South Africa for the top of the range facilities they have available to them at the NTC. He appreciated the comprehensive and professional testing the athletes received and added that they will emulate and improve some of their testing techniques when they return home.
Our own tug of war team members were excited to interact and undergo testing together with previous world champions.
South African tug-of-war member, Ane Ras said: The testing today made us realise where our limitations are and which areas we need to focus on to overcome these.
Melanie Smith, another South African team member, indicated that it was inspiring to see an institution that focuses on us as athletes go out of their way to help us improve our performance.
SA team manager, Anton Botha reiterated: We appreciate the opportunity that SASCOC has granted us so that our teams can train and undergo testing together. The girls will learn from each other. We are also impressed with the facilities and we would want to use them more often to improve our girls’ performance.
Added SASCOC Manager: Team Preparation and Academy System, Yoliswa Lumka, It is not often that we will get an opportunity to test on home soil and to test alongside a team that has been world champions twice in the last six years.
The testing was eye opening for both teams and definitely signals the beginning of our road to the gold medal at the next world championships.
The day ended well with a welcoming dinner for the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee and tug-of-war team, hosted by the Free State province.