Special Olympic World Games: Two German gold medals

Special Olympic World Games: Anna Mannheims and Clemens Schmidt from the Krefeld Golf Club each have the at the Special Olympics World Games 2023 won gold medal. In the golf competitions at the Bad Saarow Golf Club, which were held in five competitions (levels). Mannheims won the women’s stroke play over nine holes (level 4), while Schmidt won in the 18-hole stroke play of men (level 5) put on the Olympic crown.

In addition, there were six more medals for the German team, which competed with a total of ten players: Matthias Schott (Werkstätten Rendsburg-Fockbek/GC Lohersand) and Lukas Kollmeyer (Bielefeld Golf Club) each secured silver in the Skill Challenge (Level 1), Stefanie Lutz (Vorwerker Diakonie/Golf-Club-Curau) and Emily Träm (Golfclub Hösel) were allowed to compete in the women’s category happy about bronze.

Two more silver medals also went to Petra Pithan (Golf Club Paderborner Land) and Paul Kögler (Golfpark München Aschheim), who were successful in the women’s and men’s nine-hole stroke game (level 4).
were. A total of 182 golfers from all over the world took part in the golf competitions from June 19th to 22nd in Bad Saarow.

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Level 1: All four Germans get precious metal

Short putting, long putting, hitting as far as possible with the wood and the driver, plus accurate pitching and chipping – all of this was required of the participants of the Special Olympic World Games in Level 1.

After the first two days of performance and gender-oriented classification into so-called divisions (groups), the final rounds took place on Wednesday and Thursday. There the four German starters were there on point and were allowed to meet.

In the end, all happy about precious metal. Matthias Schott, who slipped from division three to the stronger two for a short time, secured silver after a strong performance. With 318 points he only had to beat Nicholas Frassini from San
Marino (321 points) narrowly beaten.

Lukas Kollmeyer’s division five, only one player was better than the athlete from Bielefeld GC. In the end, Kollmeyer’s 265 points were only two fewer than the winner Siphamandla Masondo from South Africa had in the end.
In Division 9 Emily Träm was at the start – and successful. The GC Hösel player secured the bronze medal with 277 points behind Yasmin Booth from Great Britain (287 points) and Rebecca Dalli from Malta (284 points).

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Stefanie Lutz (Vorwerker Diakonie/Golf-Club-Curau) also came third in her division 11. After four days of the Special Olympic World Games competition she was only four points short of gold. This was secured by Giulia Feltrin from Italy (225 points) with just two points lead over the Pole Katarzyna Jaworek. “I’m totally satisfied. Everything went great today.

During the pitch I got over the obstacle with two balls. With the long putt, all the balls were in a circle. They were all in on the short putt too
Circle, but I didn’t hole a ball. And when it came to chipping, I wouldn’t have thought that the balls would reach the finish line so well,” said Lutz, commenting on her performance on the final day.

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Level 4: Kögler in the division bad luck, Mannheims marches

Also in Level 4, the counting game over nine holes on the Arnold-Palmer-Platz, the first two days of competition were reserved for divisioning before the final rounds started on the last two days. And here, too, was before the final day
suddenly the divisions were reorganized: the original eleven were reduced to nine.

Much to the chagrin of Paul Koegler (GP Munich Aschheim), who with his 207 strokes is no longer the sovereign first in his division in the final nine holes but found himself second in a three-way battle with Canada’s Melvin Hanhams (206) and Giwook Nam of Korea (208).

In the end, Koegler defended his silver rank in Division 5. With 273 strokes, he ended up missing seven
on Hanham’s winner. Olaf Guttek, who played in the same division after the reclassification, landed in fifth (303) strokes and was pleased to receive a placement award.

In the strongest women’s group, Division 6, Anna Mannheims was on course for gold from the first day of the final. The Krefeld GC player confidently brought her lead to the finish line and ended up with 202 strokes, twelve fewer than them second place Amanda Patterson from Australia.

“This is just madness. I was glad that I have my Simone who was there as candy for me. I would have gone nuts without them. And we had a really tough four days of fighting. But the victory
now – that’s crazy, super cool,” said Mannheims after their triumph.

Her father Wilhelm Mannheims, who was there as a trainer and became head coach after Thomas Bruns left (became a father on Tuesday), was enthusiastic:
“Of course Anna and we are very happy. Of course, we would also be happy if she hadn’t won a gold, because taking part is really everything here. But for Anna, a wish has really come true here and she will be years
feed on.”

In Division 7, Petra Pithan (Bielefelder GC) was able to maintain her second place from the first final day during the final round. Framed by the two Korean opponents Tae Hyun Kim (209 punches) and Ji Hong Lee (220
punches), Pithan took silver with 215 points.

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Level 5: Schmidt brings leadership to the goal

Similar to Anna Mannheims, club mate Clemens Schmidt was on course for gold in Level 5, the 18-hole counting game on the Nick Faldo Course, after the first day of the final. Although Schmidt was also in a different (better)
Division had to play, he went into the final 18 holes as the leader – and didn’t let victory be stolen from him.

In the end, the Krefeld GC player had an eight-stroke lead over second-placed Kent Daniel Danielsen from Norway, who was 372 shots needed for the 72 fairways.

“I couldn’t have imagined this result. It’s just an incredible, amazing experience. And then when I stood on the podium, I thought of all the people who are here and treasure me. I have to say I feel like Bon Jovi today. It’s just something bombastic.”

Kevin Hahn from GC Lohersand was in Division 5. With 491 strokes he finished the tournament in third place. However, since only three players started in this group, Hahn only received one placement award.

More Voices on Special Olympics World Golf Competitions
Games 2023:

Axel Schulz (former professional boxer): “I was here the day before yesterday. I just find it fascinating. Golf in itself is such a great sport. And what is done here is really something special, alone on the Faldo course. I’ve tried the course a few times myself and kept giving up. I was just at hole 18 – and it’s easy to play an up-and-down from the bunker.”

Marcus Neumann (Sports Director of the German Golf Association): “I am particularly impressed by the supportive environment. The organization that does all this on a voluntary basis. And the athletes. Their joy and the atmosphere. The lightness in combination with the idea of ​​performance.

With many athletes one would say: Anyone can hit this shot. Yes that could be right. But not everyone can be so happy about it. When I look at their faces at the end: Everyone is happy.”

Wilhelm Mannheims (head coach of the German golf team):

“I am very satisfied with the performance of our team in the Special Olympic World Games. We only see happy faces – no matter who won which medal. Everyone enjoyed the four days here in Bad Saarow. It has to be said that the athletes got up at five o’clock every morning. The days were incredibly long and they achieved an incredible amount here in these very warm temperatures.”

But it’s not just about medals. Tolerance, diversity and integration – these are the values ​​for which the Special Olympics World Games also stand.

Until June 25, 2023, the Special Olympic World Games for athletes with mental and multiple disabilities will take place for the first time in Berlin – and thus for the first time on German soil. More than 7,000 athletes from all over the world are taking part in 26 sports, including ten German golfers.


Special Olympic World Games –  Official Website

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