Sonopo wins bronze in debut

2016-08-17 06:00
SONOPO TSHILOANE showing the bronze medal he won at the recent 2016 FISAC-IRSF World Rope Skipping Championship. Photo: Tladi Moloi

SONOPO TSHILOANE showing the bronze medal he won at the recent 2016 FISAC-IRSF World Rope Skipping Championship. Photo: Tladi Moloi

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PHUTHADITJHABA. – Sonopo Tshiloane (23) has made South Africa proud by coming home with a bronze medal after taking part in the 2016 FISAC-IRSF World Rope Skipping Championship.

This year’s championship was held in Malmö, Sweden, from 24 July to 2 August.

Tshiloane won a bronze medal in the triple under category, which was won by Lei Ka Chan of Macao, China, with Seo Seungwao of South Korea securing the second spot, that earned him a silver medal.

Tshiloane, who had been born in Dithotaneng Village, said he had taken part in four categories. He said he was overwhelmed that he could come home with a medal after all the struggles that he had gone through.

“The journey to the world championship was not easy. I had many challenges ahead of the tournament, but I never gave up and finally I won something,” he said.

Tshiloane said the competition had been very tough and added that lack of facilities in the Eastern Free State had made it tougher for them.

“From what I can tell, the gymnasts from other countries train a lot.

“We have to do the same if we want to win gold in the coming world championship. However, we need facilities.”

He said he had spent about two weeks in Durban for his preparation prior to the tournament, and that was costly.

“Durban is better. There are facilities. I had to pay everything out of my pocket to train there. I did that because I did not want to go to Sweden to be just part of a group. I wanted to win.”

Tshiloane believes that he could have won a gold medal if he had a coach, but he had done everything by himself.

It was the first time that the Maluti-a-Phofung-based gymnast took part in the world championship since he had joined the Thabo Mofutsanyana rope skipping team in 2007.

He said he had been positive that he would be coming home with something, because he believes in himself in everything he does.

“I have won a bronze medal and that to me is now water under the bridge.

“I now have to focus on the national championship, which will be held in Cape Town from 30 September to 8 October.

“I also have to start with preparation for the 2018 world championships.”

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