30 July 2018

Algeria: Namibia Savours Algeria Experience

Namibia performed admirably at the African Youth Games which came to an end in Algiers on Saturday, winning a total of 28 medals, consisting of eight gold, seven silver and 13 bronze medals.

They finished ninth overall out of more than 50 countries that participated, while they finished third amongst the southern African nations, behind South Africa (sixth overall with 33 medals), and Mauritius (eighth overall with 31 medals).

Namibia Sport Commissioner Peter Wilson, who accompanied the team said he was satisfied with the performance.

"Overall I'm satisfied with the Namibian athletes' performances. Namibians, despite adequate financial support, always come out on top. We have plenty of talent or should I say, it is testimony of our athletes' commitment. It was a good experience and exposure for our youth and we take a lot of positives from this journey."

The gymnastics team, coached by Veselin Kostin, was Namibia's most successful code at the Games, winning a total of five gold, two silver and four bronze medals.

In artistic gymnastics, Emil Pitt won a gold medal on the vault and a silver medal in the floor exercise.

Carane van Zyl won two gold medals in the trampoline and tumbling categories, and then teamed up with Thalia Loveira to win another gold medal in the girls synchronised trampoline category.

Van Zyl and Loveira won two more bronze medals in the girls team trampoline and tumbling categories, while Loveira won another bronze medal in the tumbling category.

Lance Potgieter and Kamas Nechville won a gold medal in the boys synchronised trampoline category, while the two teamed up with Zacheo van Vuuren to win a bronze medal in the boys team trampoline category. Potgieter also won a silver medal in the boys trampoline category.

In archery, Quinn Reddig won a gold medal in the girls singles archery category, as well as a silver medal with compatriot Adrian Grobler in the mixed team competition.

In cycling, Alex Miller excelled to win the gold medal in the boys mountain bike category.

Namibia won the silver medal in the women's hockey tournament after losing 2-0 to South Africa in the final.

In the semifinals, Namibia beat Ghana 2-1, with Kiana Cormack scoring both Namibia's goals.

Cormack also finished as the third top goal scorer with eight goals in total, behind South Africa's Angela Welham (14) and Kayle de Waal (10).

Namibia's Sevens rugby team also won silver after losing 32-12 to South Africa in the final. In the semifinals, Namibia beat Burkina Faso 43-7, while South Africa beat Mauritius 46-0.

In showjumping, Jessica Kreiner won a silver medal in the individual competition.

In swimming, Namibia won one silver and five bronze medals.a

Ronan Wantenaar won silver in the boys 100m breaststroke, while he also won a bronze medal in the 200m breaststroke. Wantenaar also set three new Namibian age group and one Open record at the Games.

Heleni Stergiadis won four bronze medals in the 100m backstroke, 200m backstroke, 200m individual medley and 400m freestyle events.

In athletics, Ludwig Huber won a bronze medal in the pole vault category, while Mayvonne Swart in karate and Justus Saaiman and Hafeni Asino also won bronze medals in wrestling.

According to the official standings Namibia also won another gold medal, but neither the Namibia Sport Commission nor the Ministry of Sport answered calls to clarify the medallist.

The African Youth Games served as a qualifying event for the Youth Olympic Games which take place in Argentina in October, but Namibia's team must still be finalised by the National Olympic Committee.

At this stage only the archer Quinn Reddig and Namibia's women's hockey team have qualified, while there is also a possibility that swimmer Ronan Wantenaar has qualified.

"At the moment only Quinn Reddig of archery and the hockey girls team are confirmed for Argentina. Next week we will decide the final quotas and qualifications," Wilson said.

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