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President’s Voice ÔÇô Gideon Sam
- Updated: August 1, 2013
Let’s be honest… many South Africans both inside and outside sport do not know much about the World Games.
Those who may have heard about them┬átalk about the ” Fun Games.”
This reference is of cause a great annoyance to the sporting codes┬á involved. Once a person has experienced these Games they will realise how serious it is becoming now.
As the old saying goes: Check the score board or better still, look at the medal table. Leading the charge in the current World Games in Cali, Colombia are countries like Italy, France, Russia┬á ÔÇô traditional Olympic sporting powers, and you realise, this is serious business.
The Chinese Taipei team that destroyed all opposition before them in the tug-of-war competition, spent four months training for eight hours a day to ┬ácapture the gold medal. When you hear something like that, you know that if you want to be taken seriously in world sport, then you have to take your sport seriously.
Can we ever be a force at these Games? I honestly think so.
Look around you at any given time in South Africa and see the potential for sumo wrestlers! On a more serious note however, the approach for South African sport should a focused one. We must identify the sport that has the most chances of making it.
I am now back in South Africa after my time in Cali and although the team haven’t won another medal since my departure, here’s hoping that the rugby sevens team will rectify that and give us a fourth medal, an improvement on the last games in Taiwan four years ago.
A little closer to home its good to see that our swimmers are coming to the party in Barcelona with two golds, a silver and a bronze, again an improvement from the last World Championships.
Also good to see was a gold medal in rowing from our Under-23 pair of David Hunt and Vincent Breet in Austria. Is this an indication that the success of our men’s fours combo in London last year is rubbing off on the youngsters? Here’s hoping so. May there be many more for this young combination.