The hard work put in by Team SA’s tennis squad finally paid off as they paved a victorious way to the code’s first medals of the African Union Sport Council Region V Games in Gaborone on Monday.
It was an all-South African affair at the Notwane Tennis Courts with team SA’s players achieving a total of four medals –three golds and one silver– in their different events.
In the girls finals, Delien Kleinhans once again got the better of her opponent, Beverly Matsiwe from Zimbabwe, and prevailed with a 6-3 6-1 gold medal win. Kleinhans later paired with Ntokozo Zungu to secure another gold medal for Team SA in the girls tournament doubles, defeating their Botswana opponents, winning 7-5 6-2.
The boys finals saw Robbie Arends gain the silver medal after losing to his Zimbabwean competitor, Mehluli Sibanda, with a scoreline of 2-6 6-4 10-4. In the boys doubles, Arends and Longwe Smit came out victorious and were crowned the 2018 tennis men’s doubles champion as they walked away with a gold medal.
On Tuesday, the mixed doubles team will compete against Mozambique at the Notwane Tennis Courts.
Meanwhile, the swimming team once again cleaned up the medals in the aquatics code, gathering a total of 16 medals on Monday.
After three days of swimming action Team SA have now racked up 48 medals in different disciplines for both boys and girls categories, leading by wide margins on the overall points table.
The 4×50 women’s relay won gold in 1:14,17, breaking the Game record as well as the South African national championship record.
Team SA obtained nine golds and seven silver medals to conclude their swimming competition on Monday.
In volleyball, Team SA lost 3-1 to the hosts Botwana, while the basketball boys team won their match with a score of 61-21 against Namibia.
In boxing, John Masamba competed in the 64kg category against Namibia, while Lwazi Ngiba competed in the 52kg category against Lesotho. They both won their matches and are through to the semi-finals.
The netball girls team continue to dominate and won their match 77-19 against Namibia, while the football girls team secured a 4-2 win against their Namibian opponents.
On Tuesday, Team SA will participate in the athletics, tennis, swimming, boxing and para athletics sporting events. Both the girls and boys teams will be in action in the football and basketball events, and the volleyball male team will face Lesotho.
Photo: Team SA swimmer in action at the Region V Games, supplied