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Three medals for SA

By Mark Etheridge

Powerlifter Brian Green ended South Africa’s participation in the 2009 World Games in Kaohsiung City, Taiwan on Sunday afternoon when he placed ninth in the open heavyweight competition.

So it’s “che-che” (thank-you) Kaohsiung and “Hola” (hello) to Cali, Colombia for the next World Games in 2013.

Team South Africa will now return with three medals in their baggage, two bronze and one silver — all of them won in the last two days of the 10-day long event.

On Saturday the Sevens Rugby code won bronze when they beat Argentina 21-0 in the third-fourth place play-off and later in the day Durban’s Ryan Brennan took third in the Oceanman event (swim, board and ski paddle).

The last medal came at the Lotus Pond Sunday when teenage sensation Heinrich Sam won second overall in waterskiing’s barefoot category.

He placed second in the slalom, third in the jump and judges were still decided whether he was first or second in the trick event. Gold went to American Keith St Onge.

Said team official Eugene Sam; “Andre de Villiers took fourth overall in the barefoot category and third in the tricks section. Had Heinrich landed properly with that 27-metre jump he would have had gold rather than silver. That’s for sure!”

There’ll be little time for relaxing though as Sam now heads home to Pretoria to prepare for August’s world barefoot championships in Germany.

Giant Green left the powerlifting arena a disappointed man. “I wanted to break SA records here but it just wasn’t my day.”

Green posted weights of 340kg in the squat, 250kg in the bench-press and 320kg in the deadlift to total 910kg. His best to date is 930k.

The team left the closing ceremony at the super-impressive Main Stadium,with 40,000 enthusiastic fans screaming in celebration, and now they need to immediately start looking ahead to the next games.

Their three medals is two less than the Games in Duisberg, Germany in 2005 and there needs meticulous strategising if they are to match that and even improve on that.

IWGA (International World Games Association) president, Ron Froehlich, a former┬á South African now living in Birmingham, Alabama, described these, the eighth World Games, as “the best ever” and Cali mayor Pascual Greggera is going to have to go some way to improve!


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