Two Taiwanese women’s tug-of-war teams beat competitors from five countries to claim gold in the women’s 540kg category of this year’s Tug of War International Federation’s World Indoor Championships in Perth, Scotland, on Saturday.
With their win, the team, mainly composed of students from the Taipei Jingmei Girls High School and National Taiwan Normal University, reclaimed the title they last won in Italy in 2010. The victory also secured the team a ticket to the next World Games, scheduled to take place next year in Cali, Colombia.
The team swept rivals from the Netherlands, South Africa, Scotland, Germany and Switzerland in the three-round game to capture the 540kg category title. China were the sixth country, but they were disqualified before the third round for allegedly using cleaning agents to increase the traction of the team’s shoes.
The Jingmei Girls High School 500kg team also took the championship over Scotland, China, England, South Africa and Mongolia last night in the tournament’s finale.
The team have won three consecutive world championships as well as one Asian and one European championship, holding all three crowns at the same time.
A men’s team from National Nantou Senior High School (NNSHS) also found themselves in a similar situation to China and were disqualified in the first round.
The team did not accept the ruling and left the field in protest.
NNSHS principal Huang Kuo-hsuen (黃國軒) said the competition rules did not contain any regulations against using detergent and that although teams from other countries used detergent to clean their shoes before the competition, the team from his school were the only ones who were disqualified for doing so, adding that it was unfair.
According to Huang, the 560kg men’s team had the best chance of Taiwan’s teams to become champions in their class after having won the seven previous first-round matches. If they had won the eighth match, they would have won their group and gone on to the final round.
In the eighth match, the team met England and had already won the first round and only needed to win one more. However, during the competition, the British head referee said the Taiwanese team had used detergent to clean their shoes and disqualified the team over the protests of both coaches and team leaders.
The NNSHS men’s team were founded in 1998 and are mostly made up of Aborigines. They have performed exceptionally well in the last few years, including winning gold in the men’s 600kg division at the 2010 Asian Tug-of-War Championships in South Korea and third place at last year’s UK Outdoor Tug of War Championships.
Additional reporting by Hsieh Chih-yu