Good Luck to the England Tug of War Teams at the European Championships in Ireland!
This week, the 2019 European Outdoor Tug of War Championships take place in Castlebar, Republic of Ireland. The European Championships takes place every 2 years and will see two days of open club competitions take place on Thursday 5 and Friday 6 September, with the closed international competitions taking place on Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 September.
The competition is run under TWIF international rules with the following weight classes taking place:
- Men 560kg, 640kg, 680kg and 720kg
- Ladies 520kg and 560kg
- Mixed 580kg
- Under 23 Men 600kg
- Under 23 Ladies 500kg
- Under 23 Mixed 560kg
- Junior Men 560kg
- Junior Ladies 520kg
- Junior Mixed 520kg
The junior and under 23 competitions are organised annually as a world championship. Regrettably England does not have any teams taking part in the junior and under 23 competitions this year, but is competing in all of the senior weight classes.
This year, the following clubs have qualified to represent England at the European Championships:
England will be represented by Oxney Vines Cross who qualified after winning the gold medal in this weight category at the 2019 National Outdoor Tug of War Championships in June. Oxney also won the 600kg weight class and bronze in the 680kg weight class.
It has been a number of years since Oxney have represented England at 560kg, their last gold medal coming in this weight division at the 1984 World Outdoor Tug of War Championships held in the USA. The clubs earlier carnation (Vines Cross) won gold at 560kg at the European Championships in 1979.
England will be represented in this weight class by Norton.
Norton qualified to represent England at this weight class after winning gold at the 2019 national championships.
Norton are no strangers to the top level on the international scene and have been ever present at World and European Championships for a number of years, predominantly in the 560kg division having won European gold for England in 2003 and 2011, as well as winning the 600kg European title in 2009. This is the first time Norton have represented at a European Championships at 640kg, although they have represented Great Britain at the World Games at 640kg in 2013 and 2017, winning silver in 2013 and gold in 2017.
England will be represented in this weight class by Lincoln.
Lincoln qualified to represent England at this weight class after winning gold at the 2019 national tug of war championships.
Lincoln have been a resurgent team over the past 5 years or so, winning gold in the European club championships at 720kg in 2013 and 2015. When representing England, the team won bronze at 720kg at the 2017 European Championships, and won bronze at 700kg at the World Championships in 2016. In 2018, Lincoln represented England at the world championships at 640kg where they also won bronze.
England will be represented in this weight class by Felton Eccles.
Like a number of clubs, Felton Eccles are no strangers to the international tug of war scene and have competed in a number of club championships as well as representing England on several occasions.
Felton won gold at 640kg at the World Championships in 1998, and followed this up with a number of club titles over the years, including European 640kg gold in 1999, 600kg gold in 2001, and 680kg gold in 2005. The club also win the 640kg world open title in 2000. More recently, the club represented England at 680kg in 2018 at the World Championships where they won the bronze medal.
England will be represented by Bedford Ladies, who qualified for the event after winning all four ladies weight categories at the 2019 National Outdoor Tug of War Championships. Bedford Ladies have been a regular team on the international circuit over a number of years, having represented England ladies at several UK, World and European Championships.
Most recently, Bedford Ladies represented England at the World Championships in 2018 in South Africa where they finished in 5th place in the ladies 500kg. At the same world championships, they also competed in the world open club competition at 500kg where they won the bronze medal. The team also had members involved in the England Ladies 540kg team at the 2018 World Championships where England won bronze.
England will be represented by Haldon Ladies who qualified for the event after winning the silver medal in this weight class at the 2019 National Outdoor Tug of War Championships in June and Bedford Ladies as gold medallists elected to represented England at 520kg. This will be the first time that Haldon Ladies have represented England at a European Championships, although the club has represented England Ladies at the British and Irish Championships over the past few seasons.
At the 2017 European Championships held in Southport, England, Haldon took part in the open club competition where the team won the silver medal in the ladies 560kg competition.
England will be represented in this weight class by Haldon men and ladies, who are representing England at a European Championships for the first time.
The team qualified for the event after winning the bronze medal at the 2019 national championships and the silver and gold medal winning teams elected to represent England at other weight classes or because the mixed competition took place at the same time as another weight class.
England are the current World and European Champions in the mixed competition (represented by Kilroe in 2017 and 2018).
We would like to wish all of the above teams and other pullers going along to support these teams the very best of luck in what will surely be a very tough and exciting competition!
Further info about the event is available on the Irish Tug of War Association web site at www.irishtugofwar.com