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Tug-of-war team pull through to grab Team SA’s third medal
- Updated: July 28, 2013
By Mark Etheridge
in Cali, Colombia
Four years of training translated into a final haul of four metres as the women’s tug-of-war team pulled out all the stops to seal Team South Africa’s third medal of the Games here on Sunday.
After being whitewashed at the previous games in Kaohsiung City, Taiwan four years ago, the code went back to the drawing board and gave their all in a bid to improve on that effort. They took on an professional approach despite severe lack of funding and threw everything into the cause.
The result was a bronze medal in the 540kg division as they routed European champions Switzerland 2-0 in the bronze medal play-off.
Earlier they had beaten Germany 2-0, drawn 1-1 with Switzerland and gone down 2-0 to Netherlands and the all-conquering Chinese Taipei side who also won gold in Taiwan back in 2009.
Their pool results meant that they took on Chinese Taipei again in the semi-finals while Netherlands and Switzerland fought it out for the other semi-final.
No team on the planet can live with the Chinese Taipei side, not now, nor for the previous four years and the South Africans knew that they would not be able to make much of an impression in the semi-final.
They duly went down 2-0 while the Netherlands beat Switzerland 2-0 in a somewhat longer encounter.
In the medal match, pretty much the entire venue was behind Team South Africa… and it showed.
They won the first tug in 1min 18sec and it was left for them to pull the white marker another agonsing four metres to the victory line.
Boosted by team-mates from the various other codes, including the recently arrived rugby sevens, it took just 45 seconds for the girls in green and gold to pull through.
Scenes of great jubilation followed and Team SA have now won three bronze medals in just three days of competition.
The other two bronzes came in the lifesaving competition ÔÇô Armand Marais and the 4x25m mannikin relay.