#TuksWrestling: Bea Meiring excited to make her international debut at the 13th African Games in Ghana

Posted on March 12, 2024

It will be like a fool's rush, where angels fear to tread when Bea Meiring takes to the mats to wrestle an opponent at the 13th African Games in Ghana. 

The Tuks wrestler is no stranger to competing internationally. Last year, she won silver at the African Beach Games in Tunisia. She was also in action in the semifinals of the Singapore World Series Beach Wrestling Tournament. She has yet to compete internationally on the mats in freestyle wrestling. 

But this is going to change over the next three weeks. She starts competing at the African Games. A week later, she will be in action at the African Championships in Egypt. The following week, she will compete at the same venue at the African Olympic Trials. 

Meiring quickly points out that wrestling on loose sand and mats is different. 

"In beach wrestling, the contest is more upright. It is similar to Greco-Roman wrestling. The difference is that you can use judo techniques to bring your opponent down. Meanwhile, in freestyle, the combat is much more open, which allows for more action. There are always gaps to attack the legs.

"Honestly, I don't know what to expect on Monday. I might win, or I might not. The most important thing is to gain experience and get a feel for how I compare to international standards.

"During last year's Big Five Tournament, I competed against some USA wrestlers. Unfortunately, it was a no-contest as they were much younger than me. I did not get a feel as to what freestyle wrestling is about. During training, I mostly wrestle against boys. It is not the same as wrestling against women. Still, I am grateful to Arno van Zijl. He has taught me so much."

Meiring is so serious about mastering the finer intricacies of the sport that she trains at three clubs. 

"I train at Tuks and Reitz, and on Saturdays, I train with the masters. Being bruised has become a norm for me," said the black belt judoka, who only started to wrestle towards the end of 2022. 

"Judo is our family sport. I was quite young when I stepped up to 'fight' for the first time. Judo has taught me tactical savviness. During a bout, you continuously think and analyse. It all boils down to setting up that perfect to catch an opponent off-guard."'

- Author Wilhelm De Swardt

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