Tug of War: China claims inaugural Asian Tug of War championship

Taiwan's Tai-chung Tug of War (in yellow and black) and China's Ju Yong Guan Team 1 (in red) tug it out during the final of the Asian Tug of War Championships at Republic Polytechnic Sports Hall on Aug 12, 2017.
Taiwan's Tai-chung Tug of War (in yellow and black) and China's Ju Yong Guan Team 1 (in red) tug it out during the final of the Asian Tug of War Championships at Republic Polytechnic Sports Hall on Aug 12, 2017.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

SINGAPORE - China's Ju Yong Guan upset favourites Tai-chung Tug of War (TCTW) of Chinese Taipei to be crowned the first Asian champions at the inaugural Asian Tug of War championship held at Republic Polytechnic this afternoon (Aug 12).

The championship saw 15 teams from more than six countries compete, showing off both strength and precise teamwork in front of a crowd of around 150 spectators. Singapore was represented by the Home Team as well as the Gurkha contingent.

The grand final was a heated affair, but eventually the Chinese prevailed, beating their Taiwanese counterparts 2-1.

Said team captain Hou Bao Cheng: "This is our first time in Singapore, of course we are very happy with the title. Tug of War is a sport that emphasises heavily on team work, team spirit and working together as one, so we definitely look forward to more such competitions as the sport develops here in Asia."

Organised by Singapore Athletics (SA), which has had a Tug of War division since 2012, today's championship is set to be the first of many to be held in Singapore, as the association seeks to garner interest in the sport.

Said SA president Ho Mun Cheong: "Even for me today was quite an eye-opener, I've never really followed tug of war because our association is traditionally more focused on track and field."

"Now with Terry (Tan) as our chairman of tug of war, and with help from the Tug of War International Federation, we hope to develop and promote the sport of tug of war in Singapore and get the public interested."

Already in the works are plans to hold competitions in shopping malls such as the Kallang Wave Mall at the Singapore Sports Hub, as well as inter-club tournaments between teams from the Home Team, SAFSA and the Gurkha contingent.

Impressed by not only the strength, but also "planning, coordination and discipline" involved in the sport, Ho hopes the sport will eventually be taken up by schools as a co-curricular activity, especially as it is "open to all ages".

"My aim is to start off with schools, then build from there. My hope is that eventually it can be one of the SEA Games sports."