Windhoek — Namibia dominated the Youth & Junior Zone VI Qualification Tournament held in Windhoek last weekend. The tournament attracted athletes from Zimbabwe and Swaziland and ended with the all three countries qualifying for the next round to be held in a country yet to be determined, next month.
They will now join qualified countries from Zone V and Zone VII. Three out of the 4 categories were won by Namibian teams, despite the absence of top Namibian junior player Julia Laggner, who was stranded in Frankfurt as a result of a cancelled Air Namibia flight.
Namibian coach Achim Lueck had to adjust his plans and the U-18 team (Maike Brandt/Mareike Talkenberg) moved up to compete in the U-21 category, while a second youth team (Kim Seebach/Stephanie Palmhert), initially on standby, had to play in the youth category.
"Fortunately we have a great youth development programme and a backup of players," said coach Achim Lueck. The junior boys Tin Hlupic and Gerard Fischer proved once again that they are the team to beat in Southern Africa.
"We were at the Youth World Championships last year and now we want to qualify for the Junior World Championship this year," said Hlupic after an impressive victory against the Zimbawean team.
The full results are as follows:
Junior Boys (U-21)
1. Tin Hlupic / Gerard Fischer (Nam)
2. Simbarash Kaseke / Arnold Mutubuki (Zim)
3. Xolani Mahlalela / Qiniso Mthethwa (Swz)
Junior Girls (U-21)
1. Maike Brandt / Mareike Talkenberg (Nam)
2. Mathilda Dube / Charity Chikore (Zim)
3. Nunsikelelo Sithole / Tenele Dlamini (Swz)
Youth Boys (U-18)
1. Elton Chiketa / Jonathan Mhandu (Zim)
2. Mangaliso Magagula / Mangaliso Zweli Magagula (Swz)
3. Jan Erik Sack / Roman von Ludwiger (Nam)
Youth Girls (U-18)
1. Kim Seebach / Stephanie Palmhert (Nam)
2. Princess Moyo / Progress Gasa (Zim)