Barnes targets Games | SASCOC - SASCOC

Barnes targets Games

By Mark Etheridge

Commonwealth Games medallist Heinrich Barnes is still confident of being part of Team South Africa at the Olympic Games in London later this year.

The Oregon, US based wrestler has taken part in two competitions in recent weeks with a mixed bag of results.

First up was the Dave Schultz Memorial tournament in Colorado Springs where he ended fifth. “I went 3-2, losing in the semi-finals to Chase Pami and then lost the next match to Todd Meneeley, both guys that I have beaten before,” Barnes told Road to London 2012 on Monday. Eventual winner was India’s Sushil Kumar who beat Barnes for gold at the Commonwealth Games in 2010.

Barnes, who fights in the 66 kilogram division, then headed off to the Yasar Dogu international tournament in Turkey where he had a few issues with hotel accommodation before settling in.

“Turkey didn’t go too well,” says Barnes who competed at the last Olympic Games in Beijing four years ago. ” I wrestled a guy from Moldova, and was beating him before I hurt my ribs and lost the match. He then lost to a guy from Iran, which kicked me out of the tournament.

“As far as I know, my next qualifier is the last weekend in April in China and the first weekend in May in Finland. There is a continental qualifier in Morocco next month, but we are not competing in it.

“As far as Olympics are concerned, yes I’m confident, I’ve been training hard, and I’d like to believe I want to compete in the Games even more than my opponent wants to.”