20 February 2013

Namibia: Favourites Lay Down Marker

THE All-Africa Senior Squash Championships got under way in Windhoek yesterday with South Africa, Zambia, Nigeria and Botswana winning their opening matches.

Namibia lost their opening match against Botswana but bounced back with a great victory against Zambia B in the afternoon.

In Pool A, South Africa A easily beat Zambia B 9-1.

South Africa number one Rodney Durbach beat his Zambian counterpart Mwansa Chileshe 3-0 (11-7, 11-4, 11-1), while South Africa's number two, Charito Potgieter, beat Enos Mwale 3-1 (11-7, 10-12, 11-4, 11-4).

South Africa's top female player, Siyoli Waters, was far too good for Namweene Muchaile, winning the match 3-0 (11-2, 11-1, 11-1).

In the other Group A match Namibia got off to a losing start as they went down 6-3 to debutants Botswana.

Botswana's number one, Alister Walker, comfortably beat his Namibian counterpart, Marco Becker, 3-0 (11-3, 11-2, 11-6), while Botswana's number two, Lekgotla Masope, beat Namibia's Andrew Forrest 3-0 (11-4, 11-4, 11-3).

Namibia's only victory came in the women's match with number one Isabel Schnoor beating her Botswana counterpart Lady Leburu 3-0 (11-6, 11-6, 11-5).

Becker said he tried to put Walker under pressure but it did not work.

"It was a good match and a privilege to play against Alister. I tried to adopt an attacking game, but it is difficult to put him under pressure," he said.

In the afternoon matches, Namibia registered their first victory of the championships with a dramatic 6-5 win against Zambia B.

Becker beat Mwansa Chileshe 3-3 in a gruelling five-setter (9-11, 11-6, 11-5, 10-12, 11-8), while Isabell Schnoor beat Namweene Muchaile 3-0 ((11-3, 11-4, 11-4).

Namibia's Henry Smit however lost 3-0 to Enos Mwale (11-9, 12-10, 11-3).

Botswana registered their second successive victory, beating Nigeria B 6-3. Alister Walker beat Tunde Ajagbe 3-0, and Lekgotla Mosope beat Sadiq Taiwo 3-0, but Nigeria's Lungdi Dasbak beat Leungo Mothlabane 3-0.

In Pool B, Nigeria A and Zambia A were the early front runners after beating Mauritius and South Africa B by the same score, 7-3, respectively.

Nigeria's top male player, Wale Amao, beat his Mauritian counterpart 3-0, and Nigeria's number two man Jonathan Peters beat Christian Bezandry 3-0, but Nigeria's top woman, Yemisi Olatunji, lost 3-1 to Vanessa Florens.

Zambia's top male player Kevin Ndhlovu beat his South African B counterpart Michael Wood 3-0, while Zambia's number two male Mwinga Lengwe beat Jean Pierre Brits 3-0.

Zambia's top female player Sharon Chimfwembe however lost 3-1 to South Africa's Senade Haupt.

In afternoon Group B matches, Nigeria A thrashed Namibia B 9-0 while South Africa B thumped Mauritius 9-1.

Nigeria A's Amao Adewale beat Namibia B's Michau Basson 3-0, Yemisi Olatunji beat Trix van der Westhuizen 3-0 and Jonathan Peters beat Archie Botha 3-0.

South Africa B's Michael Wood beat Mauritius' Xavier Koenig 3-0, Senade Haupt beat Vanessa Florens 3-0 and Jean Pierre Brits beat Nicholas Mourga 3-1.

The team competition continues today, with the positional playoffs and final taking place tomorrow.

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