Boksburg wrestler aims to win in Italy

Jesse van Baalen, a wrestler who defeated his opponents in the Greco-Roman fights at the African Wrestling Championships in Morocco, aims to conquer his opponents at the World Wrestling Championships.

The world championships will take place in Rome, Italy, July 24-28, and Van Baalen is proud to represent his country. I trained hard with my teammates at Boksburg Amateur Wrestling Club, so I’m ready for the tournament.

“I believe in myself and in my coach, Marco Coetzee, and I want to fight for honour. My goal is to show young people at our club and from all walks of life that it is possible to pursue their dreams as a youngster. My goal is to be in the top five if I don’t win the tournament.

“My coach has been very supportive and prepares me emotionally and physically.”

Van Baalen started wrestling in the Greco-Roman style three months ago during the qualifying phase and his record has improved. He said he planned to continue like this.

Coetzee started coaching van Baalen in December.

“I understand the dynamics of the world wrestling championships because I participated in it when I was at the Olympic wrestling school in Budapest, Hungary. When you are going to fight in a tournament, you have to devote a lot of time in training. Jesse needs to be mentally and physically prepared to win. I’m happy with his progress, although there is room for development,” Coetzee said.

“I’m optimistic about going to the world championships with Jesse because I believe in him. I just hope he can see his potential and ability in competition as well. He’s a smart wrestler.

“Even if he doesn’t achieve our main goal of winning the tournament, I will always be proud of him. We will fight in honor of a former coach Nico Coetzee who passed away recently.

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Robert J. King