Women’s tug-of-war team victorious at World Games
Taiwan’s women’s tug-of-war team swept the 540kg outdoor division on Friday to win the country’s first gold medal at the World Games in Birmingham, Alabama, and its fifth consecutive gold medal at the international multisport event.
Taiwan beat Sweden 3-0 in the final at the University of Alabama at the Birmingham Athletics Complex to go undefeated in the six-team preliminary round.
“Five straight championships in 21 years is really not easy,” the National Tug of War Association wrote in an online post.
After qualifying for the World Games last year, Taiwan continued to train despite the difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, but never gave up, showing its determination, said the association.
Taiwan head coach Kuo Sheng (郭昇) said the victory was not easy as some of his athletes are high school students and are not as experienced as the older members of the team. .
Fortunately, the collective focus and unity of the nine-member team produced impressive results, Kuo added.
In the final, Taiwan won their first and second draws in 26 seconds and 18 seconds respectively to win the best-of-three match.
Switzerland took bronze, while the UK, the Netherlands and Germany finished fourth, fifth and sixth respectively.
President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) congratulated the gold medalists on Facebook yesterday, saying everyone in Taiwan was proud of their achievement.
During the competition, the athletes showed the results of their long-term training and performed evenly and with a sense of rhythm, she wrote.
Tsai also praised the hard work of the coaches, including Kuo, who continued to coach the athletes despite being seriously injured in a cycling accident.
Vice President William Lai (賴清德) and Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) also posted congratulatory messages on Facebook, with Lai saying the athletes’ achievements put Taiwan in the spotlight.
Also on Friday, Taiwan’s Wei Chu-cheng (魏居正) failed to win the bronze medal in the men’s 85kg jujutsu, losing 9-6 to Germany’s Daniel Zmeev.
Earlier in the day, Zmeev shut out Wei in their Pool A match, winning 14-0. Wei then won his next bout in Pool A, beating Mexico’s Balam Quitze 13-9 to set up a semi-final fight against Serbia’s Nikola Trajkovic, which the 31-year-old Taiwanese won 14-17.
Taiwan’s Chou Chieh-yu beat South Korea’s Park Eun-ji 9-1 to advance to the women’s 9-ball semifinals. Chou, 35, faced Germany’s Veronika Ivanovskaia yesterday, with the winner vying for gold later yesterday and the other for bronze.
Taiwan’s mixed korfball team won their preliminary Group A match against Portugal 19-11, setting them up to face Belgium in the semi-finals yesterday.
In men’s freestyle wakeboarding, Taiwan’s Yang Yu-yeh finished first in the final round of qualifying with 55.67 points. The 15-year-old was due to play the first leg of the semi-finals yesterday.
In men’s canoe polo, the Taiwanese team lost both their Group B preliminary round matches, with the Netherlands winning 8-2 early in the game and Italy 3-2 in the evening. Taiwan was to face France yesterday in the quarter-finals.
Taiwan had 11 medals on Friday, including one gold, five silver and five bronze.
Germany topped the medal standings with 21 gold, four silver and 14 bronze, followed by Italy with 11 gold, 21 silver and 12 bronze. The US, was third with 11 gold, 11 silver and six bronze.
The Games end tomorrow.
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