Heiko wins Windhoek Open Championshi

WINDHOEK: Table tennis player Heiko Fleidl was crowned the new champion in the senior singles’ division of the Windhoek Open Tournament on Saturday.

The tournament was hosted by the Namibia Table Tennis Association (NTTA) at the Holy Cross Convent School in Windhoek.

A media statement issued by the organizers on Tuesday said since its inception in 1971, the tournament has been played every year.

This year’s edition was the 43rd tournament.

Roger Bryant from Tsumeb was the first player to win this prestigious award.

Current number one-ranked table tennis player in Namibia Fleidl beat Ashley Julius and Reinhardt Stanley in the knock-out play-offs to qualify for the semi-finals, where he overcame Rudi Saunderson.

In the final, the current top-seeded player faced number two ranked Cui Yunke.

Fleidl won the prestigious title for the first time in his career (11:9, 11:4, 11:8), with Yunke walking away with silver.

Bronze medals went to Schurz and Saunderson.

Speaking to Nampa on Monday morning, Fleidl said it has always been his dream to be crowned the Windhoek open champion.

“I couldn’t believe I won because going into the tournament I lacked confidence and the belief that I would win the only cup that I have never won before in Namibia.

I lacked the confidence because every player who plays me wants to prove a point of beating the number one ranked player. But after winning all the group stages games I started believing in myself,” he said.

He added that credit should also be given to the fans who cheered for him throughout the entire game, which he said motivated him to win the title.

In other results for the Windhoek Open Tournament, last year’s winner Ramon Hansen ended up winning the senior plate division, which he had to compete in after losing his first game against Yunke.

One of Namibia’s brightest young talents, PW Steenkamp who travelled from Stampriet was the surprise winner of the junior Under-18 boys’ division.

He beat the number one ranked junior and national player Darren Strauss (Westside High School).

In the U-18 boys’ doubles’ Strauss and Steenkamp beat Conwin van Wyk and Ronaldo Vogel who are both from Rehoboth High School.

The U-18 girls’ doubles’ final was once again contested between the team of Reese Saunderson and Kaitlyn Beukes who beat the pair of Anja Steenkamp and Leandi Dreyer in the final.