Top SA wrestler killed in car accident

Cape Town – South Africa’s umbrella sports body SASCOC has issued a statement mourning the loss of leading wrestler Kleinjan Combrinck who died in a car accident on the early hours of Sunday morning.

Combrinck, 23, who was part of Team South Africa at the recent Commonwealth Games on Australia’s Gold Coast, passed away after a car accident between Springs and Nigel on the East Rand.

Fellow Commonwealth Games wrestler, Michael Gaitskill, was also in the car at the time of the accident, is in critical condition in the intensive care unit at a Springs hospital.

Based in Richards Bay, KwaZulu-Natal, Combrinck was a regular visitor to the East Rand for training purposes and both him and Gaitskill were preparing for the U23 World Championships later this year.

Although he failed to medal at the Commonwealth Games, Combrinck won the 2018 African title in the 57kg division.

Said SASCOC President Gideon Sam: ‘The loss of Kleinjan and the serious injury to Michael rocks the very heart of the SA sporting family.

‘Both these two fine men were excellent wrestlers and also brilliant ambassadors for South African sport on the international front.

‘As SASCOC we extend our deepest condolences to Kleinjan’s family on their tragic loss and to Michael’s family, we join the rest of South Africa in wishing him a speedy recovery to full health once more.’

Adding his condolences was national wrestling coach, Nico Coetzee, who was part of Team SA at this year’s Commonwealth Games.

’Kleinjan’s passing is a big loss to the wrestling community and he will be sorely missed by all. Condolences to his father, mother and sister. We also pray for a full recovery by Michael.’