Grapplers gear up for the Big 5 | SASCOC - SASCOC

Grapplers gear up for the Big 5

South Africa’s most important Olympic wrestling tournament, the Big 5 championships, will have a strong international flavour this year.

Wrestlers from at least five countries have indicated that they’ll be competing at the annual tournament, starting at the University of Pretoria’s sports complex from August 1.

Oregon State University will be sending a strong junior side. The university is traditionally one of the eight strongest wrestling states, with South Africa’s own Heinrich Barnes, studying there.

Barnes, a member of the 2012 OPEX squad, recently returned to South Africa for a break as he starts preparations for the world championships in Denmark later this year.

There is also a possibility that Barnes could compete at the Big 5 tournament as part of his preparations.

Roughly 650 South African wrestlers will get to grips in Pretoria, with eight competition areas. Age groups involved range from Under-6 to senior level and all Olympic formats will be in use: freestyle, women and Greco-Roman.

The majority of South Afria’s top senior and junior wrestlers that won medals at the recent African championships, will be in action, among them Richard Addinall, Etienne van Huyssteen, Gerald Meyer, Pierre Botha,┬á Nhlankanipo Shongwe en Zumicke Geringer.