The England Pairs Shore Angling Team travelled to Langebaan, South Africa to take part in the FIPS-M 2nd World Pairs Championships from 8th – 15th February 2019.
This World Championship saw England just pipped to the podium to finish in 4th place, with Germany taking first place, and South Africa in runner up position just in front of Italy. England Pairs Stuart Withyman and James Madsen managed to secure a superb third place position.
Alongside the pairings of Thomas Bagnall and Toby Oldfield were Dene Conway/Russell Taylor and Stuart Withyman and James Madsen. Stuart being the only one with any experience in South Africa, having managed the England Ladies Shore team in 2017.
On arrival in South Africa and despite a gruelling 24 hours travelling day Team England hit the beaches for practice which helped them work out a game plan heading into the Championship.
The competition itself started off with a mixed bag of results. Stuart and James showing right from the start that they were going to be contenders. The team worked really hard and didn’t give up even with two of the pairs being out of contention for an individual medal going into the last day and threw everything at the Championship to treat it as they were fishing for gold!
On the final day of the championship England tabled some decent results and as the results were coming in, it looked like they had leap frogged Spain to steal a bronze medal. Italy took the lead to pip England to third by only one single point and what turned out to be a single fish.
It was a disappointing ending for England in a very demanding tournament, however the bitter pill was made a lot easier to swallow by the individual results with Stuart and James who fought hard from the very first match winning bronze medals which was a fantastic result all round for the team to celebrate.
Top 4 team results;
2nd South Africa
1st Fabian Frenzel/Sebastian Lucklum, Germany
2nd Albert Thurling/Willie Welman, South Africa
3rd Stuart Withyman/James Madsen, England
Thomas Bagnall, England Pairs Shore Manager stated “It was with enormous pride and an honour that I was selected to represent England for the second year running with my good friend Toby Oldfield. Having missed out on a Gold medal in the inaugural World Pairs Championships in Spain last year in the most agonising of ways, we both felt we had a score to settle. A role that took me by surprise with the work load involved, I shall respect my future managers more from now on!”
“The team worked extremely hard this year and I was very proud of the effort put in by everyone and I feel we’ve all come out of it as better anglers. Stuart and James did brilliant on the individual front and are a credit to their team and their country.”