The Namibian Table Tennis Association (NTTA) successfully hosted the AUSC Region-5 Table Tennis Championships in Swakopmund last weekend.
The prestigious event, which was sponsored by Bank Windhoek and Swakopmund Indoor Sports Centre, saw a total of seven teams and 60 players from Namibia, Angola, Botswana, Malawi, South Africa and Zambia competing in seven categories.
The competition took place at the Swakopmund Indoor Sport Centre (SISC), better known as ‘The Dome’ in Swakopmund.
Team Namibia – which consisted of 24 players – achieved its goal when Namibia A earned 4th place overall in both the men and women’s events.
Namibia, as the hosts could enter two teams into the team events, where they competed against Angola, Botswana, Malawi, South Africa and Zambia.
Namibia B finished 5th in both categories. The future of Namibian table tennis looks very bright, considering that the Namibian B team, consisting of Darren Strauss, Dietrich Mowes, PW Steenkamp, Ronaldo Vogel and Yannick Bohn – with an average age of 16 – just narrowly lost to the far more experienced A-Teams.
The young Namibian ladies team, with an average age of 15 years, not only performed well against their more experienced counterparts, but also registered the most wins of all Namibian teams. The championship was dominated by South Africa and Angola.
South Africa won gold in the men’s team event and silver in the ladies’ event whilst Angola won gold in the ladies’ team events and silver in the men’s team event. Botswana took 3rd position in both the men’s and women’s team events.
South Africa and Angola’s class was further underlined when they continued their dominance in the remaining five categories: mixed doubles, men’s doubles, ladies’ doubles, men’s singles and ladies’ singles.
South Africa took gold and bronze in the mixed doubles, with Angola silver and bronze. In the ladies’ doubles it was Angola that claimed the gold medal before South Africa, leaving Malawi in 3rd place with bronze.