Taiwan’s women’s tug-of-war team on Friday swept the outdoor 540kg division to bag the nation’s first gold at the World Games in Birmingham, Alabama, and their fifth consecutive gold medal at the international multisport event.
Taiwan defeated Sweden 3-0 in the finals at the University of Alabama at the Birmingham Track and Field Complex to remain undefeated in the six-team preliminary round.
“Five consecutive championships in 21 years is really not easy,” the national Tug of War Association wrote in an online post.
After qualifying for the World Games last year, Taiwan continued to train despite the difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, but they never gave up, demonstrating their determination, the association said.
Taiwan head coach Kuo Sheng (郭昇) said the victory did not come easy, as some of his athletes are high-school students and are not as experienced as older members on the squad.
Luckily, the collective focus and unity of the nine-member team produced impressive results, Kuo added.
In the final, Taiwan won their first and second pulls in 26 seconds and 18 seconds respectively to win the best-of-three match.
Switzerland won bronze, while the UK, the Netherlands and Germany finished fourth, fifth and sixth respectively.
President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) praised the gold medalists on Facebook yesterday, saying that everyone in Taiwan was proud of their achievement.
During the competition, the athletes showed the results of their long-term training, and performed uniformly and with a sense of rhythm, she wrote.
Tsai also praised the hard work of the coaches, including Kuo, who continued to train the athletes, despite being badly injured in a cycling accident.
Vice President William Lai (賴清德) and Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) also posted messages of congratulations on Facebook, with Lai saying the athletes’ achievements put Taiwan in the limelight.
Also on Friday, Taiwan’s Wei Chu-cheng (魏居正) fell short of winning a bronze in the men’s 85kg jujutsu, losing 9-6 to Germany’s Daniel Zmeev.
Earlier in the day, Zmeev blanked Wei in their Pool A match, winning 14-0. Wei then won his next Pool A fight, defeating Mexico’s Balam Quitze 13-9 to set up a semi-final bout against Serbia’s Nikola Trajkovic, which the 31-year-old Taiwanese won 14-17.
Taiwan’s Chou Chieh-yu beat South Korea’s Park Eun-ji 9-1 to advance to the women’s 9-ball semi-finals. Chou, 35, was yesterday to play Germany’s Veronika Ivanovskaia, with the winner later yesterday competing for gold, and the other for bronze.
Taiwan’s mixed korfball team won their Group A preliminary against Portugal 19-11, setting them up to face Belgium in yesterday’s semi-finals.
In men’s freestyle wakeboard, Taiwan’s Yang Yu-yeh finished atop the last-chance qualifiers heat with 55.67 points. The 15-year-old was yesterday to compete in the first heat of the semi-finals.
In men’s canoe polo, the Taiwanese team lost both of their Group B preliminary-round matches, with the Netherlands winning 8-2 in the early match, and Italy winning 3-2 in the evening one. Taiwan were yesterday to face France in the quarter-finals.
Taiwan as of Friday had 11 medals, with one gold, five silvers and five bronzes.
Germany were atop the medal standings with 21 golds, four silvers and 14 bronzes, followed by Italy with 11 golds, 21 silvers and 12 bronzes. The US were in third with 11 gold, 11 silvers and six bronzes.
The Games end tomorrow.
CALL FOR PEACE: Czech President Petr Pavel raised concerns about China’s military maneuvers in the Taiwan Strait and its ‘unfriendly action’ in the South China Sea The leaders of three diplomatic allies — Guatemala, Paraguay and Palau — on Tuesday voiced support for Taiwan’s inclusion in the UN on the first day of the UN General Debate in New York. In his address during the 78th UN General Assembly, Palauan President Surangel Whipps Jr urged the UN and all parties involved in cross-strait issues to exercise restraint and seek a peaceful resolution. “The well-being and prosperity of nations and their economies are intrinsically linked to global peace and stability,” he said. He also thanked partner nations such as Taiwan, Australia, Japan and the US for providing assistance
CROSS-STRAIT CONCERNS: At the same US Congress hearing, Mira Resnick said a US government shutdown could affect weapons sales and licenses to allies such as Taiwan A Chinese blockade of Taiwan would be a “monster risk” for Beijing and likely to fail, while a military invasion would be extremely difficult, senior Pentagon officials told the US Congress on Tuesday. Growing worries of a conflict come as China has ramped up military pressure on Taiwan, holding large-scale war games simulating a blockade on the nation, while conducting near-daily warplane incursions and sending Chinese vessels around its waters. US Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs Ely Ratner said a blockade would be “a monster risk for the PRC [People’s Republic of China].” “It would likely not succeed, and it
AMPHIBIOUS EXERCISES: The defense ministry said that it had detected 24 Chinese PLA Air Force planes entering Taiwan’s air defense zone over the previous 24 hours Chinese movements around Taiwan were “abnormal,” Minister of National Defense Chiu Kuo-cheng (邱國正) said yesterday, flagging recent amphibious exercises in addition to drills Taipei has observed in China’s Fujian Province. Taiwan has reported a rise in Chinese military activity over the past week as dozens of fighters, drones, bombers and other aircraft, as well as warships, have operated around the nation. “Our initial analysis is that they are doing joint drills in September, including land, sea, air and amphibious,” Chiu told reporters at the legislature in Taipei. The “recent enemy situation is quite abnormal,” he said. The comments followed a statement from the
IN MOURNING: Tsai visited the site and spoke with family members of those killed, while all the major presidential candidates said they would temporarily halt campaigning A fire and subsequent explosions at a golf ball factory at Pingtung Technology Industrial Park (屏東科技產業園區) killed at least seven people, including four firefighters, and injured 98, while three were still missing, authorities said yesterday. The blaze at Launch Technologies Co’s (明揚國際) plant on Jingjian Road raged for more than 12 hours after it started at about 5pm on Friday, officials said. The Pingtung County Fire Bureau early yesterday used large excavators to search for missing people, while family members waited at the scene. Pingtung County Fire Bureau Director Hsu Mei-hsueh (許美雪) said the bureau received a call about the fire at 5:31pm