South African Under-20 netball captain Zandre Kruger has hailed her team as the champions of Africa, after they thrashed Botswana 80-22 to secure a gold medal at the Zone VI Games in Lusaka, Zambia.
RoadtoRio.co.za reported that there were glorious scenes at the National Sports Development Centre netball courts as South Africa celebrated their victory, which saw them edge tournament favourites and defending champions Malawi to first place on log thanks to a superior overall goal average (goals scored divided by goals conceded).
This was after South Africa recorded a big win over Botswana, while Namibia did enough damage to Malawi’s goal average in a 76-30 loss.
Head coach Selloane Mosoahle said this was sweet revenge as South Africa came second at the 2010 Zone VI Games after losing to Malawi by one goal in the final in Swaziland.
“In 2010, we had a group phase and knockout play-offs – and we lost to Malawi twice,” Mosoahle told RoadtoRio.co.za. “But after drawing against Malawi [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][29-29] in the first round of this year’s league tournament, we knew we had what it took to win gold.
“The girls felt the pressure heading into the last round, but I told them that they needed to be calm. With Namibia scoring 30 goals against Malawi, we felt confident. Our main focus was on Botswana and the team pulled through.”
Goal scorer Danelle Willemse was the Player of the Match against Botswana, as her height and strength caused plenty of problems for the opposition defence. She was the target up front and scored most of the team’s goals.
The win over Botswana completed a four-match winning steak as South Africa beat Zambia (59-29), Lesotho (103-4) and Namibia (55-27) earlier in the tournament.
Captain Zandre Kruger lauded her team’s tournament campaign.
“Malawi have called themselves the African Queens for a long time now,” said Kruger. “But today, we proved that we are the champions of Africa.
“With the senior netball team doing very well internationally, we felt inspired to do the same. This Zone VI Games gold medal proves that South African netball is strong and will continue to grow.”
Other results on Thursday included gold for Ischke Senekal in the women’s discus and gold for Team SA in the 4x100m women’s relay.
The SA Under-20 women’s basketball team is through to the final after finishing second on the log.
The SA Under-20 women’s soccer team, Basetsana, lost 2-1 to Zambia in the semi-finals and will now play in the bronze medal play-offs.
Zone VI Games, Lusaka, Zambia Selected Results, Thursday, 13 December Athletics: Women’s 400m hurdles: Mareike Woulhuter (silver) Women’s 100m hurdles: Kayla Gilbert (silver), Elizmarie Kriel (bronze) Women’s high jump: Valentina da Rocha (4th) Women’s discus: Ischke Senekal (gold), Simone Meyer (bronze), Lezaan Jordaan (4th) Women’s 4x100m relay: Team South Africa (gold) Basketball: Women’s U20 round robin: South Africa 37 Angola 71 – Second on log, qualify for final Football: Women’s U20 semi-final: South Africa 1 Zambia 2 – Relegated to bronze play-off Netball: Women’s U20: South Africa 80 Botswana 22 (first on log – gold) Tennis: Team event – women’s singles: Zanmarie Pienaar beat Zambia (6-0, 6-0) Team event – women’s singles: Tyra Timm beat Zambia (6-2, 6-0) Team event – women’s doubles: Zanmarie Pienaar/Tyra Timm vs Zambia (not needed)