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Bronze for Barnes
- Updated: July 12, 2011
Our Commonwealth silver medallist in India last year, Heinrich Barnes added another international medal to his tally at the 2011 Spanish Open Championships in Madrid at the weekend.
On this occasion it was a bronze medal for Barnes, writes Mark Etheridge. Part of a squad of 15 South Africans who made the trip to Europe, the United States based grappler, originally from Pretoria, won his first match convincingly against Francesco Racugno of Sardinia (12-0 4-0)
He then won his second match against Ryan Weicker of Canada 5-0 5-0. In his third match he beat Romania’s Yan Ceban 8-6 3-1. Then the eventual silver medallist, George Bucur (Romania) beat Barnes 5-1 3-1 in the fourth match.
But by winning his fifth match against George Cedric of Canada 12-0 4-0, Barnes earned third place of the 29 wrestlers in the 66kg Freestyle division. The overall winner of theis division was Germany’s Saba Bolaghi.
Three other wrestlers just missed out on earning medals and received fifth-place finishes in the competition that saw contestants from 38 countries.
They were Carlo van Wyk (Eastern Province) in the Greco-Roman 55kg division, Hugues Bella-Lufu (Western Province), also in the Greco-Roman 96kg division and WV Meyer (Gauteng North) in the 74kg Freestyle division.
The squad, who took part in a training camp ahead of the Spanish Open and will continue training in Madrid for a few days, was made up for four Greco-Roman wrestler, eight Freestyle experts and three female members. Some of the wrestlers then return home to South Africa while US based WV Mayer is planning on competing in the Polish Open.
One of our other Commonwealth Games medallists, Richard Addinall, has picked up a flu bug in Spain and is on his way back to South Africa to recover.
Originally scheduled to compete in Spain, Etienne van Huyssteen recently started a new job and was unable to take time off to compete.