Eliminators Cup Exceeds Expectations

This year’s edition of the Table Tennis Eliminators Cup has exceeded expectations as the tournament, which was hosted after a nearly five-year break, received a staggering 79 entries, showing that the sport is continuing to grow in Namibia.

Most of the matches were fiercely contested as participants gave it their all to fight not only for a medal, but also for valuable points in their respective rankings. The matches were played in senior singles, senior doubles, senior plates, U18 boys, U18 girls as well as U18 mixed doubles categories.

The U18 boys division saw the dream final between Darren Strauss and PW Steenkamp materialize. The two youngsters have been the outstanding performers this year, earning them both their first steps on the international stage, while Strauss had also successfully defended his Namibian national title a fortnight ago.

Both players lived up to expectations as they marched through to the final with g displays of table tennis. Steenkamp showed great character during the final but it wasn’t enough to beat Strauss who eventually won the match in three straight sets.

Meanwhile No. 1 ranked Kaitlyn Beukes kept spectators on the edge of their seats as she overturned a 2-0 deficit in the U18 women’s final against Anja Steenkamp. It seemed that Steenkamp was well on her way to winning the title, but Beukes made a great comeback from 10-4 down in the third set, to win the match 3-2 and shatter her dream.

Beukes and Strauss then underlined their class even further, when the two young prospects clinched the top spot in the U18 mixed doubles division after beating PW and Anja Steenkamp in the final.

There was more intense action amongst the senior players. In the men’s singles division, unseeded Yunke Cui from China took top honors after he beat Ramon Hansen in a hard fought final over five sets. Both finalists are from the Police Table Tennis Club.

Hansen did, however, get his name on the winners list when he and his partner Rudi Saunderson won the doubles division 3-2, after trailing 2-0 against Yunke Cui and Wang Yuqing of the Police club.

SKW’s Heiko Fleidl and Johann Malan finished third.

Wang Yuging made a great come-back to competitive table tennis after breaking his playing arm in a terrible car accident during late 2013.

Other results were as follows:

U18 boys singles plate:

1. John Paul Thirnburn 2. Danco Burger

U18 girls singles plate:

1. Jesse Joseph 2. Helen Vries

Senior singles plates:

1. Ashley Julius 2. Johann Malan

Source : The Namibian