Photo: Riaan KrugerAll medal winners in Namibia
Burundi, Ghana and South Africa were crowned champions after battling it out for the team trophy at their respective regional African Junior Championships last week.
The three tournaments, which also serve as qualification to the ITF/CAT African Junior Championships (14 and 16 & under), which will take place in Kenya in March, were held in Tanzania (East Africa), Togo (West & Central Africa) and Namibia (Southern Africa).
The events saw participation from 235 players across the three regions and offered competition for 12, 14 and 16 & under players. The format for the tournaments was round-robin for the first three days with players qualifying for the main draw or the consolation draw for the final four days. Only round-robins were played in the girls 12 & under category.
Seven countries took part in the tournament in Tanzania, which was won by Burundi with the host nation finishing second and Kenya in third place. In the individual results, Kenya took gold and silver in the 16 & under girls’ event after Stephanie Mbaya defeated compatriot Sofiya Gulam 63 62 in the final. Diella Syori (BDI) took third place beating local Edna Mfinanga 64 62. The boys’ final was a battle between teammates Martin Meshuko and Goodluck Mollel (TAN) with Meshuko coming out on top 62 64.
Saidi Nkurunziza (BDI) clinched third place. Mariam Mujawimana (BDI) took gold in the girl’s 14 & under event, beating Georgina Kaindoah (TAN) 61 75. Third place went to Burundi’s Sada Nahimana. Rwanda’s Ernest Habiyambere was victorious in the boys’ event, defeating Emmanuel Mallya (TAN) 67(7) 75 64. Burundi once again took third place when Sheil Kotecha had to retire at 64 giving the bronze medal to Radjabu Ntamba.
In the girls’ 12 & under event, Sneha Kotecha (KEN) finished top of the group of four players, winning all of her matches. Abdul Shakur Kabura (BDI) won the boys’ event, beating teammate Jonathan Mugisha 57 62 119. Kenyan Keean Shah took third place.
The tournament in Namibia saw a record attendance from 11 countries and saw the host nation team coming fourth, after Madagascar in second place and Zimbabwe in third. In the 16 & under individual results, local girl Sedi Jacobs reached the final but lost to Nicole Dzenga (ZIM) 60 36 75. Océane Razakaboana (MAD) clinched third place. The boys 16 & under final was an all-South Africa affair, which saw Lloyd Harris beating Brandon Laubser, 36 63 61. Chisomo Lumeta (MAW) took the third place in a play-off with Alwyn Mushonga (ZIM) 63 61.
Lee Barnard (RSA) won the gold medal in the 14 & under girls, beating her twin sister Zani Barnard 63 64. Randy Randrianasoloson (MAD) took the bronze. In the boys 14 & under, gold went to Richard Thongoana (RSA) defeating Andritoavina Ratsimandresy (MAD) 63 75 and Albertus Kruger (RSA) took third place.
Tshegofatso Tsiang (BOT) won the girls 12 & under, while Zambia’s Banabas Kalaba won the 12 & under boys’ event, beating Tsholofelo Tsiang (BOT) 61 64 and Valentine Munyariwa (ZIM) took third place.
With ten countries battling it out for the West & Central African team trophy, Nigeria and Benin, who came second and third respectively were unable to catch the winners, Ghana. Elizabeth Kapari played a part in Ghana’s team victory when she beat Nigerian Sarah Adegoke 61 61 in the girls’ 16 & under final. Kapari’s teammate Francisca Nyarko took bronze. Emmanuel Idoko helped with Nigeria’s team points tally after Ghanaian Isaac Nortey retired at 75 67(5) 50 in the boys’ 16 & under event. Idoko’s teammate Joseph Ubon finished in third place.
Anicette Ahounou helped Benin onto the podium with her 64 62 victory over Marie-Ange Sia Adomon (CIV) in the girls’ 14 & under category. Gabon’s Danielle Ngo Bahoya finished third. More crucial points were scored for the Ghanaian team when Marcel Agbegne beat compatriot Benjamin Palm in the 14 & under final 63 64. Dominique Gandonou (BEN) took the bronze medal.
In the girls’ 12 & under category, Carmine Becoude (BEN) took gold, Barakat Quadrit (NGR) took silver and Linda Eloundou Nga (CMR) took bronze. In the boys’ 12 & under, Daniel Goudjinou starred for the host nation, beating Cyrille Lago (CIV) 62 26 76(6). Michael Osewa (NGR) finished in third place.