Tug-of-war team eyes gold from Hsinchu orange grove

Following a fourth-place finish in the men’s 560-kilogram category at last year’s World Championship in the Netherlands, members of Taiwan’s Mammoth tug-of-war club are now eyeing gold from a repurposed orange grove in Hsinchu County.

Lin Yu-hsien (???), one of the club’s founders, said the group of recent university graduates aimed to show the world that Taiwan’s men’s teams could emulate its world-beating women.

Taiwan’s women topped the outdoor 540 kg division at the 2022 World Games in Birmingham, Alabama to clinch its fifth consecutive gold medal at the international multisport event.

To punch their ticket to the World Games in Chengdu, China 2025, Mammoth will need to secure at least a top-six finish at the 2024 TWIF Outdoor World Championships in Mannheim in the 640 kg division.

Central to these ambitions is the club’s outdoor training facility off Qionglin Industrial Road, built on farmland belonging to club member Hu Kai-yuan’s (???) grandparents and funded by a grant from the Taiwan Tug of War Association.

The association’s head Chen Chien-ping (???) also donated four tug-of-war ropes to Mammoth to help furnish the site, which, thanks to a roof covering, allows the club to train in all weathers.

Since its establishment in April 2022, Mammoth has gained steady ground, culminating with the men’s 560-kilogram team’s fourth-place finish in the Dutch village of Holten in September.

The club has also seen its members increase from 11 to 60, including 15 female members who were welcomed for sharing the same passion and ambition to impact the mixed division at international stages.

Of the 11 founders, six based in the area take turns to maintain the training center at weekends, and, despite the orange grove’s transformation, Hu said the land was still being used to sow new life. “Because here is where our dream starts.”

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel