Meet Namibia’s new iceman
Erastus Iileka scored a new Junior Africa Record at the 4th Icestock World Championship in Italy, making Namibia Junior African record-holders, in the sport that is similar to roll or curling ball and is the only winter sport actively played in Namibia.
For the second time the Namibian Icestock Federation (IAN) sent a junior player to the World Cup. After 2014 the first African Youth player Kennedy Kandjii (Windhoek Bowling Club) represented the country followed by Erastus Iileka (Cazadores).
With the talented players from the Icestock strongholds Austria, Germany and Italy, Iileka could not keep up with expectations. They made the seats from 1 to 12 among themselves. With personal bests in the two passages (87 and 70) and a total score of 157 Iileka set up a new Junior African record. This marks an improvement of 34 points from the previous one and an excellent 19 place among 27 participants. As a result he let the entire Polish National Team and other players from the Czech Republic and Belarus behind.
In October 2015 Iileka won the first Namibian Championships in the under 23 age group. Again, being the only representative from Africa, he got attention in the Tyrolean Press and received great applause from the audience during the opening ceremony in the ice rink in Ritten, Italy.
“It was Erastus first time ever on ice and he used the official training to become familiar with the unusual underground. Equipped with new, special-made shoes for Icestock from the sponsor company ‘Eisstock 21’,” said the President of the federation, Detlef Pfeifer.
Pfeifer, praised the player and was pleased with the development of Icestock in Namibia. The introduction of the first Namibian Youth Championship last year was an important step.
“I am particularly pleased with the fact that more young players move up already. Iileka can play an exemplary role. He [Iileka] may still participate in the next Junior World Cup 2018 in the same age group in order to improve his African Record,” he said.
Starting next Tuesday, the seniors players will be represented by a men’s and a women’s team at the World Cup in South Tyrol. Both teams will compete in the B group. While the men’s team aims for a rank between 5 and 7, the ladies, despite the fierce competition between Belarus, Russia and Canada are looking for a places on the podium after two fourth places in 2010 and 2012.