The World outdoor championship got underway today in Pretoria, South Africa with the men’s 700kg in the morning. The hard ground and a temperature of 32 degrees celsius did not suit the Irish teams who nonetheless prerformed well in the conditions.
18 teams took part in the 700kg competition which was run in two groups. Lakehill pulled well to top group one with maximum points. In the semi final they faced Dutch team, Eibergen. This was a gruelling contest with the Mayo team winning over two feet of rope in the first end but were unable to finish off their Dutch opponents. There was very little between the teams in the second end as well but it was Eigergen who progressed to face fellow Dutch team, Veenseboys, in the final. Lakehill recovered well from their tough semi final to defeat Schongau from Switzerland in straight ends to win the bronze medal. Veenseboys defeated Eibergen to win the gold medal.
Irish teams Boley, Gortletteragh & Ballygar took part in the men’s 580kg competition in the afternoon, which was also run in two groups. Boley pulled very well in group one to qualify for the semi finals in second position. Ballygar pulled well in their first ever world championship picking up a number of points in group 2. Gortletteragh picked up a number of points but were not in contention for qualification. Boley faced Veenseboys in the first semi final but the Dutch team were too strong winning in straight ends to progress to their second final of the day. Engelberg from Switzerland defeated Goiherri from the Basque country to qualify for the final. Boley faced Goiherri in the bronze medal pull-off. There was very little between the teams with the first end lasting around five minutes but the Basque team had the edge as they won the bronze medal in straight ends. Veenseboys won their second gold medal of the day with a straight end victory over the the highly fancied Engelberg in the final.
Click here for full results from day one.