Namibians excel at 74th SA national champs

All team members brought home either gold, silver or bronze from Johannesburg.
Mariud Ngula
With bows drawn and aims set high, the Archery Association of Namibia (AAN) proudly sent six of its finest archers to Johannesburg for the 74th South Africa national championship, combined with the second African Southern Regional championship.

The team took on 139 other archers from South Africa and Zimbabwe at Marks Park last weekend in the competition under the auspices of by the South African National Archery Association (SANAA), World Archery Africa (WAA) and World Archery (WA).

Accompanied by Frank Reddig as coach, the six Namibian archers were Lutz Wahlers, Quinn Reddig, Louan Groenewald, Jacqueline Coetzee (who is also AAN’s president), Hofmeyr van Blerk and Jannie Meuwesen.

Besides competing in their respective classes, the Namibians also formed a mixed compound team as well as a compound men’s team.

Saturday saw archers kickstart proceedings with a single ranking round round of 72 arrows each (maximum 720 points), followed by eliminations to determine the medal matches for Sunday.

Reddig placed first in the recurve women’s category, securing her spot in Sunday’s gold medal match.

The mixed compound team of Coetzee and Meuwesen got the third position of the compound women and sixth in compound men, and advanced to Sunday’s gold medal matches.

The men’s compound team saw Groenewald secure the ninth place and Van Blerk 20th to secure their spot in the Sunday gold medal matches along with Meuwesen. Wahlers reigned supreme in barebow recurve men and secured his spot in the bronze medal match.

Every archer won a medal

Quinn Reddig reigned supreme in Sunday’s recurve women’s decisive round, securing a gold medal.

Van Blerk also performed outstandingly, securing two silver medals and one bronze in compound men, compound men’s team and compound mixed team.

Wahlers also stood tall, adding a bronze medal in barebow men to Namibia’s tally.

Groenewald scooped a silver medal in the compound men’s team, while Coetzee came second in the compound mixed team and added a bronze medal in the compound women’s division.

Coetzee said the weather conditions at the shooting range were very challenging.

“We shot in very tough conditions, with temperatures exceeding 30 degrees Celsius. It was also very windy, but fortunately, the rain held off until after we had concluded the shooting.

“Overall, the Namibian archers performed very well at this event and already new talent is being forged and our skills are being honed and sharpened for the next event.”