By Mark Etheridge
Currently in Morocco, South Africa’s wrestlers are grappling their way to gold, silver and bronze medals at the African Championships.
With representation across the board, the country’s cadet wrestlers were first in action.
The freestylers put up a phenomenal performance on the mat and totally dominated the day, starting the day’s action off with newcomer Fernando Booysen, who took gold in his very first continental championship.
It was an exceptional performance, not only because it was his first African Championships, but because at age 15, Booysen (pictured above) is two years younger than both his opponents.
The South Africans ended the day with five gold medals, three silver and two bronze medals.
Booysen was among five gold medal winners, the others being Edrich Nortje, Francois Rossouw, Ruan Botha and Jacques Kriel.
Then there were silver medals for Mika Lehmkuhl, Marco Viljoen and Jaco le Roux, while Hennie Human and Jacques Ludik got bronze.
All the members of the cadet team won medals, so it was no surprise that the team took the overall title as well.
The cadets have now returned to South Africa and then it was the turn of the juniors. This category didn’t enter a full team in the Greco-Roman category, but they still managed to place third overall.
Although they didn’t manage a gold, they contributed five silvers and a bronze to the team’s cause.
The silver medallists were: Reynhardt Louw, Dylan Marais, Judah de Beer, Brandon Kidson and Nico Fouche, while Cheyenne Smith won bronze.