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Taiwan grabs gold in 500 kg event at tug-of-war world championships

2012/09/10 20:02:26

Brussels, Sept. 9 (CNA) Taiwan beat Sweden in the final of the women's 500 kilogram category at the 2012 Tug of War International Federation's Outdoor World Championships Sunday in Appenzell, Switzerland, adding another gold to the country's haul.

Taiwan's team, composed of students mainly from Taipei Jingmei Girls High School, topped the strong Swedes Sunday despite a loss to them in the final of the women's 540 kg weight class a day earlier.

Germany beat Switzerland for the bronze medal.

"I feel so moved," the principal of Jingmei Girls High School Lin Li-hua told CNA. "I am really proud of the students."

Eight countries competed in the women's 500 kg weight class -- Taiwan, Germany, China, Netherlands, Sweden, Belgium, Switzerland and South Africa.

Each country had to compete against one another in a preliminary round, and the four countries with the highest points entered the semifinals.

Taiwan's only defeat in the round robin was to Sweden, but the team's young pullers did not give up.

"We (teammates) believed in one another and that we could succeed. We believed we could do it," said team captain Huang Yi-chin.

Coach Kuo Sheng said the team decided to change its strategy in the final and opt for an endurance battle after losing to Sweden in the preliminary round because Taiwanese pullers sapped their energy too quickly by focusing on pulling fiercely.

He also showed his gratitude for the support of Taiwan's Sports Affairs Council, the Chinese Taipei Tug of War Association and Taiwanese enterprises who helped them overcome financial difficulties and enabled them to travel to Switzerland to win the honor for Taiwan.

The Taiwanese team delivered a number of impressive performances at the four-day championships.

It won bronze in the 540 kg event and gold in the 500 kg category at the Outdoor Clubs Competition and then silver in the 540 kg weight class and gold in the 500 kg event at the Outdoor World Championships.

The clubs competition, which took place Sept. 6-7, is considered a warm-up event for the World Championships, held Saturday and Sunday.

Meanwhile, Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin, who is currently in Finland, called the principal of the Jingmei school Monday to congratulate the students on their success, and he praised their competitive spirit.

(By Tsao Yu-fan, Johnson Sun and Nell Shen)