2004 World Indoor Tug of War Championships - Kelvin Hall, Glasgow, Scotland
At last the long anticipated World Indoor Championships took place in the magnificent Kelvin Hall International Arena in Glasgow, Scotland. Thursday and Friday saw the open clubs competition take place with new TWIF members Mongolia fielding a team in the event.
The first open weight was the men’s 560. This was pulled in two large groups of 10 with Kilroe being the only English side taking part in this weight. Kilroe were silver medallists in this weight at the 2002 world indoor championships, and they were fielded in the same group as defending champions St Pats from Ireland, and also the bronze medallists at the last world championships who were Richill from Northern Ireland. Basque team Beti Gatze were also strong contenders as well as Irish team Clonmany. Unfortunately Kilroe did not make it out of the group this time despite beating Beti Gatze first on, who made it to the semi finals along with St Pats. The teams from group 2 who made it to the semis were Bremore from Ireland and Basque team Abadino. The longest pull in the group stages was between Kilroe and Clonmany which lasted 7 minutes and 15 seconds including a no-pull. Photo: Kilroe 560kg team
The semi finals produced an all Irish and all Basque semi final with Beti Gatze defeating Abadino and Bremore defeating St Pats. In the bronze pull off St Pats defeated Abadino by 2 pulls to 0 with each end lasting no longer than a minute. The final put Beti Gatze up against Bremore and Bremore won it in two quick ends of one minute each and I don’t think that many people in the arena have seen a 560 final won so easily.
In the women’s 520 Bedford ladies were the only English side involved and they failed to make it out of their group. Group 1 was won by Badiotz with Gaztedi finishing in second place, both of whom are from the Basque country. TTV Teerns from the Netherlands won group 2 with TPE from Chinese Taipei finishing in second place. The semi finals saw Badiotz defeat TPE and Teerns defeat Gaztedi. The bronze was won by Gaztedi with TPE having to settle for 4th place. The final saw a hard fought battle take place between Badiotz and Teerns with the first end lasting 4 minutes and 3 seconds – the longest pull of the ladies competition. The first end was eventually won by Badiotz, and they secured the gold medal with another hard end to successfully defend their world indoor title at 520 which they won in 2002.
The final weight of the first day was the men’s 640. England had 3 clubs involved with Raunds, Hedge End and Uppertown taking part. The competition was split into 4 groups with Clonmany A from Ireland and Gretna from Scotland making it through to the quarter finals from group 1. Stans Oberdorf (Switzerland) and Raunds made it through from group 2, Bremore (Ireland) and TTV Green Oase (Netherlands) made it through from group 3 and BRC (Scotland) and Uppertown (England) qualified from group 4. Photo: Uppertown
In the quarter finals Clonmany defeated TTV Green Oase, Bremore were defeated by Gretna and BRC defeated Raunds. Stans Oberdorf defeated Uppertown by two pulls to 0 but were disqualified from the competition, when someone in the crowd spotted that they had brought on a substitute who had already pulled in their B team in the same weight. The first semi-final was an all Scottish affair with BRC defeating Gretna, and the second semi final was won by Clonmany who defeated Uppertown, who were reinstated to the competition after Stans Oberdorf were disqualified. The pull off for bronze was won by Gretna by 2 pulls to 0 against Uppertown with each end lasting no longer than a minute.
The final was a hard fought affair between Clonmany and BRC with Clonmany taking the first end in 2 minutes and 25 seconds and in the second end Clonmany went to turn on the power again and as BRC got closer to the line they started to work hard but it was to late to try and get the centre mark back and Clonmany took the second Irish gold medal of the day.
The Friday saw the men’s 600 take place in the morning.
The only English team in the competition were Uppertown who failed to make it out of their group. Beti Gatze (Basque country), Arrizkuzubi (Basque country), Clonmany B (Ireland), Deel Rangers (Ireland), Cockhill (Ireland), Clonmany A (Ireland), Stans Oberdorf (Switzerland), and Abadino (Basque country) all made it to the quarter finals. Beti Gatze defeated Arrizkuzubi, Clonmany B defeated Deel Rangers, Clonmany A defeated Cockhill and Stans Oberdorf defeated Abadino. The semi finals saw Beti Gatze defeat Clonmany B and Clonmany A defeated Stans Oberdorf. The bronze pull off was won by Clonmany B by 2 pulls to 0 in 2 minutes and 1 minute 14 seconds.
The final which was contested was between Clonmany A and Beti Gatze which could be said to be the best final of the open. The first end lasted 4 minutes and 35 seconds where Clonmany worked hard to pump Beti Gatze to the line, but the Basques held on tight and kept their shape. Clonmany then started to fade and the hit the floor. Beti Gatze then attacked and pushed Clonmany back all the way to take the first end. The second end went the same way, but this time it lasted for 3 minutes and 16 seconds and Beti Gatze brought home a well deserved gold medal and the 3rd gold of the open for the Basque teams.
The final weight of the open was the men’s 680 with Raunds and Hedge End flying the flag for England.
The event was pulled under 2 groups with group 1 being won by Clonmany with Hedge end and TTV Tzummarum from Holland drawing in 2nd place, as they had gone one end a piece in the group and both teams lost to Clonmany. The position for second place was decided on count backs and with both teams getting the same amount of cautions, it was then down to who weighed the lightest and with TTV Tzummarum weighing 679 and Hedge End weighing 680, TTV Tzummarum were awarded the place in the semi final. Raunds were the winners of group 2 with IT Heidenskip from Holland also getting to the semi finals. Raunds defeated Tzummarum in their semi final and Heidenskip defeated Clonmany. The bronze pull off saw Clonmany defeat Tzummarum by 2 pulls to 0. Photo: Hedge End
Then came the final. This was the first final of this years world open clubs competition with an English team involved. Raunds took the first end in 2 minutes and the second end in 1 minute 24 seconds to bring home the gold medal, which never looked in any doubt for the English side. This world open title now emulates the UK open title won by Raunds at 680, at the UK championships in Guernsey earlier this year. A fantastic achievement - well done lads! Photo: Raunds - World Club 680kg champions
On the Friday evening, a civic reception was held in the magnificent surroundings of the City Chambers at Glasgow City Hall by Glasgow City Council. Representatives from all of the countries taking part were invited to the event. At the event, it was announced that Glasgow will be bidding for the 2014 Commonwealth Games and it was also announced that tug of war will be included in the event as a demonstration sport if Glasgow is successful with its bid. An enjoyable evening at the event was had by all.
On Saturday and Sunday the internationals took place with England looking to defend the men’s 560, 640 and 680 won in 2002 by Kilroe, Norton and BAC respectively, and Northern Ireland were looking to defend the men’s 600. Netherlands were looking to defend the ladies 520 and Japan were looking to defend the ladies 480.
Saturday started with the men’s 560. England were represented by Kilroe who were the defending champions and they were looking to win their 4th consecutive representative world title at 560, and England’s 5th consecutive world title at 560. England went through the group unbeaten with the republic of Ireland, Basque Country and Northern Ireland fighting out for the other top 4 placings. In the semi finals England were put up against Basque Country, winning by 2 pulls to 0, and the Republic of Ireland defeated Northern Ireland by 2 pulls to 0. The bronze pull off was won by Northern Ireland who had a tough first end with Basque Country which lasted for 4 minutes and 7 seconds. They then went on to win the bronze medal in the second end in 1 minute and 50 seconds to repeat their success of the 2002 world championships. Photo: England 560kg team competing at the World Indoor Championships
The final was contested by defending champions England and hopefuls the Republic of Ireland who were represented by Bremore who had won the open. The first end was a good battle with England taking it in 2 minutes and 14, and the final end never looked in any doubt as England pushed hard, and Ireland never took an inch of rope, and England brought the gold medal home with a second end time of 1 minute 57 seconds. Photo: England 560kg team - 2004 World Champions
The women’s 520 saw England represented by Sheen ladies. England pulled well to secure a 5th placed position, which qualified them for the world games in 2005. England had many pullers in the side, who were representing for the first time, and they missed out on the semi finals by 1 point, so 5th place was a highly creditable position for them. The semi finals saw the Netherlands defeat the USA and Basque Country defeat Chinese Taipei. USA won the bronze against Chinese Taipei by 2 pulls to 1, with Chinese Taipei taking the first end and the USA taking the final 2 ends. The Netherlands won the gold against the Basque Country by 2 pulls to 0 to win the first gold of the whole championship for the Netherlands. Photo: England ladies 520kg team represented by Sheen Ladies
The final weight of the Saturday was the men’s 640. England were represented by Sheen farmers, who were representing England at a world championships for the first time since 1995. England won their group with Switzerland finishing in second place. Scotland won group 2 with Northern Ireland finishing in second place.
In the semi finals England defeated Northern Ireland by 2 pulls to 0 and Scotland defeated Switzerland by 2 pulls to 0. Northern Ireland beat the powerful Swiss team for the bronze medal by 2 pulls to 0 as they managed to hold on to them on each end as the Swiss eventually ran out of steam over the two ends.
The final was the first of an England – Scotland final. Competition between the two countries in any sport are always fierce battles, so no love was lost between the two sides. The International Rugby had gone to England today but who was going to take this crown?
The first end lasted 2 minutes and 30 seconds with Scotland inching England all the way to take the first end. On the second end England missed the drop and Scotland powered their way sharply and crisply with legs pumping in unison towards the line to take the 640 title from England and repeat their success of the world championships in 2000. England however were still delighted with the result as they had many young and inexperienced pullers at international level in the side, and a silver medal was an extremely good result against a very experienced Scottish side. Photo: England Men 640kg team - Silver Medallists - Represented by Sheen
Sunday’s competition started with the men’s 600. England were represented again by Kilroe who were late replacements as two other English sides were unable to take up their invitation for various reasons.
England were drawn in group 2 along with Scotland. England and Scotland met in the final pull of the group, which was a full blooded affair, with England taking Scotland to the line, only for them to slip, and Scotland took them all the way back down the mat and over the line in 3 minutes and 54 seconds. Scotland had done their home work and enough to avoid the Japanese as although England then took the second end they finished second in the group as they had picked up 1 more caution than the Scots. Japan and Ireland made it through out of group 1.
In the semi finals England were up against Japan who have an unusual but explosive style of indoor tug of war which saw them lose only one end in their group in 56 seconds to the Republic of Ireland, with the rest of their pulls lasting no longer than 27 seconds – the shortest being 5 seconds long! Japan’s explosive style of pulling is so different and hard to stop that England lost in 2 straight ends of 17 seconds and 19 seconds. Scotland reached the final after defeating Ireland in 4 minutes and 6 seconds, and 2 minutes and 29 seconds respectively. England again defeated the Republic of Ireland by 2 pulls to 0 for a pleasing bronze medal.
Then came the final and many people were doubting whether or not the Scots could stop the Japanese. The first end lasted 19 seconds and at one stage it looked as though the Scots were going to stop the Japanese but it wasn’t to be. No one was going to stop the Japanese today and the second end was won by the Japanese in 17 seconds to bring them their first ever gold medal in the men’s division. Photo: Japan - World 600kg Champions with England, represented by Kilroe, winning bronze
Next was the women’s 480 with Japan looking to defend their title. England were represented by Bedford ladies who finished in 5th position to again qualify England for the world games in 2005. The semi finals saw Japan defeat Scotland and Holland defeat the USA. In the bronze pull off Scotland took the first end but on the second end the USA dropped Scotland to the floor to equalise and secured the bronze medal by winning the 3rd end. The final was won by Japan, who won their second gold medal of the day as they defeated the Netherlands by 2 pulls to 0. Photo: England ladies 480kg team represented by Bedford Ladies
The 680 was the final event of the 2004 world indoor championships. England were represented by BAC who were looking to win their 4th consecutive world title and also England’s 5th world indoor title. England made it through to the semi finals after going one end a piece with Ireland and losing to Scotland. England defeated Ireland again in the semi finals, whilst Scotland defeated the Netherlands. The bronze pull off saw the Netherlands pull extremely well to win the bronze medal by 2 pulls to 0 against Ireland. The final was a second gold medal pull between England and Scotland, and again the Scots proved to be stronger than England and took the gold medal by 2 pulls to 0, making it the most successful world championships for Scotland ever. Photo: England mens 680kg team - silver medallists - represented by BAC
At the end of the day the medals were presented, and the championships were closed by the president of TWIF, Mr Co Koren.
A special word of thanks must go to the Organising committee, chaired by Bob Farmer and all of the Scottish Tug of War Association for organising such a memorable world championships at a great venue.
All of the teams will now be looking to compete at the 2006 world indoor championships in Ireland.