TuksWrestling’s gold medallist, Edrich Nortje, met with Perdeby to discuss his experience in wrestling, a sport he has been pursuing since six years old.
What has been your greatest achievement in the sport?
Although I have 15 national titles, and a nineth placement on the cadet (0/17) World Championships in Athens, Greece last year, I have two African championships titles. I won the cadet African Championships last year in Marrakesh, Morocco. I am currently 0/18 and I won the Junior (0/20) African championships earlier this year in Port Harcourt, Nigeria which I see as my greatest achievement. I am the second person from South Africa to win the Junior African Championships at the age of 18.
What has been your most challenging competition?
My toughest competition was this year’s African championships, especially the Algerian to whom I lost my first match, but later wrestled again in the finals. I then came out victorious by pinning him after leading with a score of 4-4.
What keeps you motivated to push through tough times that you may experience in wrestling?
My Olympic goal. I’m planning to qualify for the 2024 Olympics and everything I do is to prepare myself for [the] Olympic Games.
When do you train and what do your training sessions involve?
I go to the gym three times a week, practicing a strength program my coach gave me. I jog often, and go to wrestling practice [from] Tuesdays to Thursdays to improve my technique. I also attend wrestling camps that are held regularly over weekends where we focus on conditioning.
What do you consider to be the best aspect of wrestling?
The mental durability, and the physical development that I experience. Wrestling also teaches dedication and persistence.
What has been your most rewarding experience when considering wrestling?
A nice reward is being able to travel the world and meet new and diverse types of people. The most rewarding experience is looking up at the crowd before your match just before you give your everything on the mat, and using all the hours you have put in to achieve your goal. I wrestle because I enjoy receiving the pride that comes with the gold medal.
What or who do you attribute your success to in terms of wrestling?
I attribute my wrestling success to all the hours of hard work I’ve put in and to everyone who supports me such as my parents and my coaches. I also thank God for the talents and opportunities that he has given me.
What upcoming competition are you most looking forward to?
I’m looking forward to the Senior South African championships in June where I will put my strengths to the test against all the senior wrestlers in South Africa, most of them being a few years older than me, as it is everyone above the age of 20.
What advice would you give to other wrestlers who wish to be successful?
Hard word, dedication and persistence is the recipe for success.