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SA fighters bring back 33 medals from Martial Arts Games
- Updated: October 9, 2014
By Mark Etheridge
South Africa have returned triumphant from the 1st TAFISA World Martial Arts Games in Richmond, British Colombia.
The Games took place from 5-7 September and South Africa was one of 12 participating countries.
More than 300 competitors were involved in a range of martial arts from the Xtreme, musical and Chinese Weapons forms forms, to the action-packed grapple and point-sparring forms.
Athletes won medals designed by 2010 Winter Olympic Games medal designer Corrine Hunt.
Captained by Tom Hayes, South African athletes won a total of 33 medals at the Games, 16 gold, nine silver and eight bronze.
In terms of most medals won, Reiner von der Marwitz was most successful with five. He won gold in the Form category, silvers in point sparring, continuous sparring and wooden weapons and added a bronze in the bladed weapons category.
The SA team were extremely well received at the event. As the British team manager Chris Hemstock observed: ‘The South African Team came to the TAFISA WMAG, very prepared and organised. The dedication of the athletes was so apparent and they were all to a good standard. It was an honour to have coached and competed along side this professional team.’
Hemstock’s sentiments were backed up by US team manager Alberto Friedmann. ‘It was a great pleasure to meet the coaches and athletes from Team South Africa. Not only were your athletes of exceptional skill, they were some of the friendliest athletes at the Games, showing immense sportsmanship and cameraderie.
‘I know several of my athletes became good friends with your team members and it was a true expression of sport to see these competitors from different countries relaxing together, joking, and having a good time.
‘It is relationships like those our athletes will remember long after they have forgotten what the final score. I look forward to seeing your team again and spending time with your athletes.’
Other medal winners for South Africa were:
Hayes: Forms sparring – gold, Wooden weapons – bronze, Point sparring – gold
Anika Vermaak: Forms – bronze, Wooden weapons – gold, Point sparring – silver, Continuous sparring – gold
Zenita Peens: Forms- silver. Wooden weapons – gold
Pitso Molefe: Wooden weapons – bronze, Continuous sparring – gold
Jody Verwey: Forms – bronze
Nico Basson: Forms – gold, Point sparring – gold
Jean Pretorius: Point sparring – gold, Continuous sparring – gold
Ruan Coetzee: Forms – bronze, Point sparring – bronze, Bladed weapons – silver, Wooden weapons – gold
Gerjo de Waal: Team weapon form – gold
Piet Snyers: Team weapon form – gold, Self defence – bronze
Andries Douglas: Team weapon form – gold, Self defence – silver, Form – gold
Keagan Rowe: Point sparring – silver, Form – silver.
In the picture, Ruan Coetzee takes on an opponent from the United States