Games grap­pler does us proud

Zululand Observer - Monday - - FRONT PAGE - Richard Springo­rum

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.’

Supplied

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

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