With September now at an end, and most of the teams now preparing for the Indoor season or going to enjoy a few well earned weeks of rest, the ITOWA would like to thank all that travelled, organised, participated & helped make the 2019 European Senior and World U23 and Junior Outdoor Tug Of War Championships such a sucessful and enjoyable time.
From an Irish perspective, although we did not get the amount of medals we have in previous years, we certainly gained a lot of experience to build on going forward. For the first time in many years, we had a mixed, ladies, junior men and U23 squad,which is very positve and gives us a good foundation to build on and progress with.
The open club competitions were held on the Thursday and Friday. We seen teams from Boley, G&B, Castlegregory, Mulcair & Lakehill take to the field to participate in the various weight categories. It was great to see the Irish clubs out, and indeed, pulled at a very high standard.
The only medal for the Irish came on the 1st day to G&B in the open 560kg competition. This was certainly one of the toughest weight categorgies to be in, with the G&B men certainly favourites to be in the mix for a medal.
After a gruelling group stage, G&B had made it through to the semifinal stages, where they would meet Sins of Switzerland. Although G&B battled hard, it was the Swiss men that took the 3 points and progressed to the final. The other final seen the Scottish Cornhill take on Mosnang of Switzerland. This time, Cornhill managed to overpower Mosnang and they claimed the 3 points to get theire spot in the final!
The G&B men now faced the battle for bronze. This was never going to be an easy win. The first end seen G&B hold on with grit and determination, and claim the 1st point. The 2nd end was a much tougher battle with Mosnang throwing everything they had at the Irishmen. G&B managed to hold on, and eventually overpower Mosnang and claim bronze and the only medal for the Irish in the championships. Sins went on to claim the Gold atfter a mighty battle with Cornhill.
The closed competitions were held on Saturday & Sunday, and the standard of pulling certainly did not disappoint. We had Irish teams in the mens 560kg, 640kg, 680kg, 720kg, Mixed, Ladies 560kg, Junior men & U23. And although we came so close to medals in the 640kg & 720kg, unfortunately the Irish had to settle for 4th place as a highest ranking.
It was however, so encouraging to see our Junior men & U23 place so well in their competitions. Both squads only missing out on places in the semifinals because of cautions. Considering this is their first year competiting together this was a fantasic achievment. And with our U23 at such a young age, this squad will be able to stay together and compete as a team for another 3 years. So the future is certainly looking bright!
The ITOWA would like to thank all the training and effort that our squads put in for the Championships. You wore the Irish Jersey with pride and put everything you had into every end that you pulled and will certainly be looking forward to the 2020 outdoor season where hopefully we will see this many Irish Squads representing in the 2020 World Championships in Getxo, Basque Country.
For results in all the competions please visit: https://www.facebook.com/TWIFs/