Taiwanese teams on Thursday picked up four silvers at the open club competition of the Tug-of-War Holten in the Netherlands, a warm-up event for this weekend’s World Championship.
The silvers were won by Taiwanese clubs in the mixed 580kg, men’s U18 560kg, women’s 500kg and U23 mixed 560kg weight classes.
Cho Yao-peng, secretary-general of Taiwan’s Tug-of-War Association, said that the open competition featured clubs, unlike the World Championship, which involves national teams, but it still offered some insight into how this weekend could go.
“Generally speaking, the open competition is similar to a warm-up event before the World Championship, and it is also an opportunity for coaches and players to make adjustments and find out what their opponents are like,” Cho said.
Last year, a Taiwanese team won gold in the women’s 540kg category in the open competition, but were fourth in the World Championship, he said.
“Coaches from various countries will observe the status of players through the open competition and make lineup adjustments in the World Championship,” he said.
The COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected the training of Taiwanese teams in the past few years, while other countries have improved because they opened up earlier than Taiwan, Cho said.
“This is a warning sign,” he said, adding that Taiwanese teams are not as strong in weight classes that they used to dominate, with the U18 560kg category a prime example.
In the past, Taiwan only needed two pulling turns in the U18 560kg weight class to win a match, but this year, more than half of the matches needed extra pulling turns to determine a winner, Cho said.
Taiwan’s biggest hope in the World Championship is the women’s 540kg squad, which did not compete in the open competition, Cho said.
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