Reddig to Join African Archers in China

NAMIBIAN archer Xander Reddig will join archers from Egypt, Libya and Benin at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China in August, following the Bank Windhoek Youth African Archery Championships which was concluded in Windhoek on Wednesday.

Reddig had already qualified before the championships after he received a universality place from the International Olympic Committee, but he subsequently beat the qualifying standard at the Namibian Independence Shoot and the South African Open.

North African countries dominated the recurve category at the African Youth Championships, winning five of the six medals on offer.

Seifeldin Elsehely of Egypt won the gold medal in the Recurve Cadet Men’s category, after beating Ali Elgharari of Libya in the final, while Ali Mohamed of Egypt won the bronze medal.

The two qualification spots for the Youth Olympics went to the first two countries, with the result that Egypt and Libya each booked a place.

In the Recurve Cadet Women’s category, Egypt made a clean sweep of the medals, with Hana Elshimy winning gold, Rana Kamel silver and Salma Esmat bronze. Benin’s Kpetchehoue Zinsou, who finished fourth, however also booked a ticket for Benin to China, since places are reserved for the top two countries and not individual archers.

The other countries that competed at the Youth African Archery Championships were the Central African Republic, Chad and Guinea, while Senegal and Togo sent officials to observe and learn.

Namibia dominated the Compound division but this category did not count towards the Youth Olympics and none of the other African nations competed in it.

Elizabeth Taljaard won gold in the Compound Cadet Women’s category, with Hanne Snyman winning silver and Quinn Reddig bronze, while Mynardt Beukes won gold in the Compound Cadet men’s category, with Hendrik van Eeden winning silver and Sebastian Fechter bronze.

Ruan van Staden was the only competitor in the Compound Junior Men’s category and won the gold medal.

High accolades for Namibia

The Youth African Archery Championships was well attended with the president of the Federation of African Archery, Dr Aladin Gabr, the Director of Development of the World Archery Federation, Pascal Colmaire and the Secretary General of the FAA, Ahmed Koura among those in attendance.

The championships were however spoiled by the non-attendance of South Africa and Morocco, who apparently had problems with the dates.

According to the president of the Namibian Archery Association, Frank Bockmuhl, the event was a big success and put Namibia on the international map.

“My idea was to expose recurve archery to Namibia where it is still not that popular, and we succeeded in this. We also received a lot of compliments from international judges and technical delegates for our organisation, with some saying that this was suitable for any international event.”

Ahmed Koura concurred, saying that Namibia should now try and host an international event.

“I can say with full confidence that this was a wold class event. It was professionally organised, the organising committee was world class, the facilities, the food and transport and even the weather, all were excellent. Namibia should now try to stage a world archery event with prize money. This will require more government support and sponsorships, but it can be done in cooperation with the tourism sector which could offer discounted tours as part of the prizes,” he said.

Source : The Namibian