Games grappler does us proud
RICHARDS Bay wrestling ace KleinJan Combrinck has done himself, his city and his country proud.
He finished fifth overall in the men’s freestyle
57kg division at the Commonwealth Games, after going down 5-2 on points to Nigeria’s Ebikewenimo Welson in the bronze medal shoot-out on Thursday morning.
This is an exceptional achievement for Combrinck, making his debut at the prestigious Games at the tender age of 22.
The youngster came up against a more experienced Welson who has bagged two silver Commonwealth medals in his career thus far.
Combrinck had beaten Welson to take the gold medal at the Senior African Championships held in Port Harcourt (Nigeria) earlier this year, but could not repeat the performance.
Welson took the first point of the encounter after Combrinck failed to score during his 30-second caution.
The referee awards a caution to one wrestler to speed up the action during a bout.
If the wrestler scores, he gets a point. If not he loses a point.
Welson managed to complete a roll which earned him a further two points to extend his lead to 3-0.
Combrinck fought back and earned a point to get on the board.
The Nigerian was then awarded a caution from the referee and Combrinck capitalised to narrow the gap to 3-2.
With minutes left on the clock, the Nigerian’s experience came through and he executed another roll which earned him further two points to extend his lead to 5-2.
Unfortunately for Combrinck time ran out and he had to settle for a fifth place finish.
‘I am extremely proud of my son and his achievements,’ said dad Jan.
‘He is still young and will take this experience as a learning curve. We will keep working hard towards the Olympic dream for 2020 and will achieve the necessary criteria that SASCOC has set for the Olympics.
‘There is a ranking tournament coming up in July in South Africa that is run by United World Wrestling and I am very confident that KleinJan and Ebikewenimo will meet up again,’ said Jan.
‘I would like to thank everyone back home for all the support,’ said KleinJan Combrinck.
‘Unfortunately today was not my best day. I remain positive even though things did not go as I had hoped, but I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity and for the awesome experience.
‘This is just another step for me, I am still young and this was my first Commonwealth Games, so I believe I can just come back stronger in the future.’
KleinJan Combrinck narrowly misses out on wrestling medal at Commonwealth Games KleinJan Combrinck is beaten by Canada’s Steven Takahashi who nished second overall in the men’s freestyle 57kg division at the Commonwealth Games on Thursday