Our Senior Wrestlers took part at the Continental Championships in Alexandria, Egypt from the 4th to the 6th of March 2016.
Marin Erasmus, made every South African Wrestling fan extremely proud when he managed to win silver in the 86-97kg Freestyl Senior division, in what can only be described as a battle of the titans!! He lost after full time with one point, in what could easily have been the match of the tournament, against Egypt’s Aly Hamdy Amin Moustafa.
His hard work and dedication together with this silver medal means Martin the only South African Wrestler to qualify to move onto the next round of qualifications for the Olympic Games in Rio later this year.
At the tender age of 20 this is an achievement that very few wrestlers of his age in the world can put down on their CV’s, as the optimal age for World and Olympic participation in wrestling is between the ages of 23 and 28.
Martin and his team mates will return to SA tomorrow, the 8th of March, their flight will be landing at OR Thambo at 09:00, where he will ramp up his training and preparation for the last of the hurdles to Rio2016. Only silver or gold at the last qualification tournament in Istanbul Turkey, will be good enough to get him to Rio.
The qualification tournament will take place between the 6th and 9th of May 2016. The entire country will be behind Martin in support of this incredible achievement. Should Martin succeed in his goal to qualify for Rio2016 he will be the first South African Wrestler to represent his country at the Olympics since Heinrich Barnes at Beijing 2008. Like most sports in South Africa, qualification criteria for wrestling is very strict and wrestlers are only able to qualify at a Senior Word Championship, by placing in the top 6 or at one of two Olympic qualification events in Mongolia and Turkey, where they need to place in the top 3 or top two at each event respectively. The Oceania Qualification event is not recognised at this stage by SASCOC and therefore our wrestlers are unable to qualify through this event.
The rest of our team, though not qualifying to move on the the next step for Rio, performed exceptionally well in a tough Championship dominated by hosts Egypt.
Hanru Botha won silver in the 65-70kg Freestyle weight category, although silver was the minimum requirement for moving on in the Road to Rio it is unfortunately the weight class he participated is a non-Olympic weight class.
WV Meyer (70-75kg Freestlye) and Terry van Rensburg (61-65kg Freestyle) both won bronze in their respective categories, narrowly missing out on further qualification.
Also coming third was Zander Geringer in the 71-75kg Greco Roman category.
Our female athletes also performed well with several of them narrowly missing out to proceed to the next round of qualification.
Norma Gordon (53-55kg), Leanco Stans (60-63kg) and Jeanne Marie Coetser (58-60kg) all placed third.