Sweden and the mixed discipline in Tug of War: that is a special story of its own. The mixed-gender format was invented in Sweden 20 years ago. In 2008, on the initiative of tug-of-war athletes from Sweden, the team sport with four women and four men literally pulling together received international recognition from the world federation TWIF. In 2022, mixed tug-of-war will be a medal event at The World Games for the first time.
Sweden will have more than good chances of winning a medal. The team won the title at the World Championships in Getxo, Spain and thus earned a berth in TWG. Coach Henrik Törnblom's team will pull for gold from 13 to 16 July 2022 in Birmingham, Alabama. His squad beat Switzerland in the final, whilst England and Germany came third and fourth. Gold medals for Sweden were won by Malin Flodin, Maria Arosenius, Simon Andersson, Daniel Eriksson, David Lilja, Johanna Eriksson, Lina Lindqvist Olsson and Jesper Andersson.
More than deservedly, the squad from Sweden is The World Games Team of September 2022.
Törnblom describes the uncertainties before the start of the World Championships in Spain in September: “It was just about a month before the Championships when the Covid restrictions in Sweden allowed athletes to come together for training. Before that, the team members had trained mostly alone, or in very small groups, up to a maximum of four people. When we travelled to Getxo for the World Championships, we had no idea what chance we had of reaching a position among the six countries who would qualify for The World Games 2022.”
With a little bit of understatement, the national coach continues: “The competition went well and we are a little bit surprised, and of course very happy with the result. Now we are looking forward to competing at The World Games in Birmingham Alabama.”
As The World Games Team of the Month, the pullers from Sweden will receive The World Games Athlete of the Month diploma as well as a branded gift from the Official Sponsor of Athlete of the Month, Protective Life.
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