South Africa continued its domination at the African Zone 6 level of competition when its beach volleyball pairings reached the podium as winners in five of the six categories at the Namibian Open in Windhoek recently. Sponsored by the Bank of Namibia, the zonal championship was a precursor to the upcoming continental championship and was fiercely contested.
SA coach, Gershon Rorich who represented the African continent at the 2004 Athens Olympics, must be credited for the thorough preparation of the SA teams on the shores of the Atlantic seaboard which clearly gave them the edge over their opponents.
ÔÇ£Winning five of the six finals at the zonal level was a remarkable achievement on the part of the SA teams who despite having to put up with a large partisan crowd stuck to the job at hand and silenced the Namibian fans by blasting their opponents out of the sand,ÔÇØ said coach Rorich.
However, the SA Youth Boys’ team of Tashwell Petersen and┬á Lazuko Gando had to let the final slip through their fingers as injury plagued the pairing midway through the contest. Much to the delight of the home fans the South Africans were forced to concede defeat to Namibian team of Tin Hulpic and Gerard Fischer. The Namibians will be joined by their┬á South Africans counterparts (Petersen and Gando) as the Zone 6 representatives when the Confederation of African Volleyball (CAVB) hosts its continental championship for the youth later this year.
London Olympics hopefuls, Freedom Chiya and Grant Goldschmidt and compatriots Palesa Sekhonyana and Randy Williams proved to be too strong for their opponents as they posted a quick fire┬á straight sets wins to claim the gold medal position.
In an all South African men’s final Chiya and Goldschmidt cruised past Leo Williams and Jerome Fredericks while Sekhonyana and Williams did not raise a sweat as they bundled out Namibian Lizette Rottcher and her South African partner, Kirsten Pocock.
SA Junior men and women’s teams of Dean Layters and Carlo van Nelson and Prudence Layters and Bejanche Della scored easy wins over Namibia and Zimbabwe respectively.
According Rorich all the players have committed themselves to attending a series of training camps in the Western Cape in preparation for the continental championships.