SOUTH Africa retained the All-Africa Senior Squash title when they beat Zambia 8-4 in a thrilling team final in Windhoek yesterday.
The final went down to the wire, with Siyoli Waters beating Sharon Chimfwembe 3-0 in the first match, but Zambia bounced back when their top-ranked male player Kelvin Ndhlovu beat his South African counterpart Rodney Durbach 3-2.
The final match also went down to the wire before South Africa's Christo Potgieter beat Mwinga Lengwe 3-1 to clinch the gold medal.
Namibia finished seventh after beating Mauritius 6-4 in a close encounter.
Namibia rested its top female player Isabelle Schnoor, bringing in Adri Lambert, who was easily beaten 3-0 (11-2, 11-7, 11-0) by Vanessa Florens of Mauritius in the first game.
Namibia drew level when their number one male Marco Becker beat Xavier Koenig 3-0 (11-7, 11-6, 11-3) and it all came down to the last match between the number two male players, Henry Smit and Christian Bezandry.
In a tight match, Bezandry took the first set 11-6, but Smit lifted his game to take the next three sets 11-9, 11-8, 11-9 to win the match and give Namibia the tie.
South Africa's depth was illustrated by the fact that their B team won the bronze medal after beating Botswana 6-3 in the third place playoff.
South Africa's Senade Haupt beat Lady Leburu 3-0, but Botswana drew level when Alister Walker beat Michael Wood 3-0.
In the final match Jean Pierre Brits comfortably beat Lekgotla Mosope as South Africa won the tie 6-3.
There was a bit of a surprise in the fifth-place playoff as Nigeria's B team beat its A team 6-0.
Longdi Dasbak beat Udeme James 3-0, while Sadiq Taiwo beat Jonathan Peters 3-0.
Zambia B clinched the ninth spot after beating Namibia B 6-0 in the ninth-place playoff.
Monica Chimese beat Trix van der Merwe 3-0 (11-4, 11-6, 11-5), while Enos Mwale beat Michau Basson 3-0 (11-6, 11-3, 11-4).
The All Africa Senior Squash Championships now continue with the individual men and women's competitions which will be played on a knockout basis.
Alister Walker of Botswana is the men's top seed, followed by Rodney Durbach of South Africa, Kelvin Ndhlovu of Zambia and Christo Potgieter of South Africa.
Siyoli Waters of South Africa is the women's top seed followed by Senade Haupt of South Africa, Isabelle Schnoor of Namibia and Vanessa Florens of Mauritius.
The individual competition continues today and tomorrow, with the women's final scheduled for 16h30 and the men's for 17h30 tomorrow.
The closing ceremony will start at 19h30 tomorrow evening.