NTTA happy with talent

Table tennis
At junior and senior level the cream is rising to the top.
Tielman Van Lill
The Namibia Table Tennis Association (NTTA) last weekend held trials to select an under-15 girls and boys team to represent the country at the International Table Tennis Federation’ African Youth Games in July.

Namibia’s top ten under-15 boys and top eight under-15 girls lined up at the Wanderers Sports Grounds in Pionierspark to fight for a spot to represent their country from 16 to 21 July in Gaborone, Botswana.

Fierce competition was seen between the junior men, with the top three positions secured by Caden Bosman, Kevin Zhang and Kamrouz Ghayouri. All three of them dropped only one match and they were only separated on points difference.

The fourth position was also very closely contested by Agape Chicalu, Moses Kanama and Pascal Eysselein. Agape barely edged out his rivals for the fourth spot, followed by Kanama and Eysselein.

In the junior women’s division Lian Gebauer made a clean sweep, followed by Cadence Farmer, Justina Namupolo and Karolina Shigwedha. Gebauer had to pull out all stops to see her three rivals off.

Farmer continued the good form she displayed at the Simonis Storm & Arysteq singles championships in April this year.

Against all expectations, Kelly Zhang only managed fifth place and was selected as a reserve option, should one of the top four players not be able to travel to the games.

In the under-15 division Kevin Zhang bagged gold at the Simonis Storm & Arysteq singles championships, followed by Caden Bosman in second place with Kamrouz Ghayouri and Agape Chicalu third.

At the same competition in the girls section, Cadence Farmer secured gold, while Kelly Zhang won silver with Justina Namupolo and Esther Shatika third.

The NTTA said: “We are satisfied with the performance of the players and look forward to develop them to their full potential, to lead Namibia to the highest level at regional and continental competition in the years to come.”

The teams will be accompanied to Botswana by Theo Beukes and Rudi Saunderson. Beukes will act as team manager and coach at the event. The rest of the delegation will be announced in due course.

The selected teams:

Boys: Caden Bosman, Kevin Zhang, Kamrouz Ghayouri, Agape Chicalu, Moses Kanama (reserve).

Girls: Lian Gebauer, Cadence Farmer, Justina Namupolo, Karolina Shigwedha, Kelly Zhang (reserve).

• The NTTA will host a junior singles and doubles tournament this coming Saturday at Wanderers for under-11, U15 and U19 boys and girls. Entries close at 14:00 on 16 May. For more information contact Theo Beukes at 085 749 3863.

• The NTTA recently announced two women’s and seven men’s players (four senior and three development players) included in the national senior core group from which the national team will be selected to participate at this years' regional and international events.

Women: Michelle de Koker, Netanya Beukes.

Men: Wayne Green, Rudi Saunderson, Kean Tait, Delton Dreyer, Caden Bosman, Kevin Zhang, Kamrouz Ghayouri.

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