Great Britain tug of war teams have just returned from the World Games in held in Wroclaw, Poland with a gold and bronze medal to their name, which sets up the home teams well for the forthcoming European Championships, set to take place in Southport on 21-24 September. The World Games takes place every four years, with many sports forming the programme over 10 days of competition.
The World Games, being staged from 20 - 30 July this year, is the highest level of competition for a diverse array of non-Olympic sports. The World Games is held under the patronage of the International Olympic Committee, and contains most of the candidate sports who are awaiting inclusion in the Olympics, including tug of war.
The tug of war event saw the top 6 ranked nations in the world in each respective weight category taking part.
The first day of competition saw the mens 700kg competition take place. Lincoln represented Great Britain in this weight class and got off to a flying start, defeating Belgium first on, then went 1-1 with Germany and The Netherlands and defeated Sweden, only Switzerland beating the Great Britain team in the group stage. The top four teams progressed to the semi-finals, so it was Switzerland who finished top, followed by Netherlands, Great Britain and Belgium.
In the semi-finals, Great Britain were drawn against The Netherlands. Many were anticipating a close match after these teams shared the spoils in the group stage, but The Netherlands got the upper hand on this occasion, so Great Britain went into the bronze medal match against Belgium who were defeated in their semi-final against Switzerland.
Confident after a good performance against Belgium in the group stages, Great Britain put their semi-final defeat behind them and put in a dominant performance to take the bronze medal by 2 ends to 0. A great acheviement for the team represented by Lincoln.
The mens 640kg competition took place on the second day of tug of war competition and the Great Britain 640kg team represented by Norton from Staffordshire were hoping to follow on from that on by picking a second tug of war medal for Great Britain.
Great Britain were up against Germany, Switzerland, Netherlands, Sweden and Ireland in that order in the group stage. A very tough field of good 640kg teams.
Britain started well, defeating Germany, but then lost to a very good Swiss team (the defending champions) in the second match, before winning the remainder of their pulls to make the semi-finals in second place in the group. The TWIF world champions Switzerland topped the group, in third place were Sweden and Germany progressed in 4th place.
In the semi-finals, Great Britain defeated Sweden so went into the final to meet the defending World Games Champions of 2013, and the 2012, 2014 and 2016 TWIF World 640kg Champions Switzerland.
It was a well contested final, with Switzerland taking a close first end. On the second end, Great Britain went on the attack and managed to take a well won second end. The third end was equally as close, with Great Britain taking it to win a first gold medal at the World Games for Great Britain since 2001, and Great Britain’s first at 640kg since the first World Games in 1981.
“These are absolutely fantastic results for Great Britain, and our best results at a World Games for a number of years” commented Tug of War Association spokesman Alan Knott.
“to beat Switzerland in the final at 640kg is absolutely brilliant, particularly as the Swiss team have not been beaten at this weight category for so long”.
“Our tug of war teams have been preparing for these Games for the last 12 months so to come away with a silver medal is a great result. The pullers have had to meet most of the cost of travel, training, and competition themselves, and they deserve the highest praise for their hard work and dedication to get these results, in an event, which is the highest level that these guys can hope to compete at, other than hopefully an Olympic Games in the future”.
“Given that the Great Britain teams mainly consisted of pullers from England, this will set our teams up nicely for the forthcoming European Tug of War Championships which take place in Southport in September at Carr Lane fields, where hopefully England and the other home nation countries will come away with more medals”
The European Championships take place at Carl Lane Fields, Birkdale on 21-24 September, with the first two days of competition consisting of club competitions, with the final two days of competitions consisting of the international competitions. The World Junior and Under 23 tug of war championships will also be taking place at the event.
Further information about the European Championships in Southport, visit www.tugofwar2017.com. Further information about tug of war in England is available from the Tug of War Association web site at www.tugofwar.co.uk. You can also follow the Tug of War Association on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram by searching for @englandtugofwar.
Notes to Editors:
- The Tug of War Association was founded in 1958 with the objective of developing tug of war at all levels.
- Tug of War is contested between teams of 8 people, and events are held in weight categories.
- Tug of War events take place for mens teams, womens teams and youth teams.
- The Tug of War Association is a recognised sports governing body by Sport England.
- The sport of Tug of War is recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
- The Tug of War Association are members of the Tug of War International Federation (TWIF) who organise World and European Championships bi-annually.
- England are hosting the 2017 European Championships in Southport, Merseyside between 21 and 24 September 2017
- For further information about tug of war, visit the Tug of War Association web site at www.tugofwar.co.uk
Contact details for further information:
Alan Knott - Tug of War Association Press Officer
Tel: 07976 591222
The governing body for tug of war in England, recognised by Sport England. Tug of war is an 8 person team sport held in weight categories for junior and senior mens teams, ladies teams and mixed teams.