African bowls tournie
Namibia has been awarded the right to host the 2013 African States Bowls Tournament, one of the most prestigious international lawn bowls competitions on the continent. The tournament takes place in Windhoek from 8 to 14 September, according to Namibia Bowling Federation president, Ewald Vermeulen.
Seven African nations, Namibia, South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Malawi will roll it out in four categories, singles, pairs, triples and fours, with one to four players per team respectively. Men and ladies compete in separate divisions.
Last year’s event saw the South African’s using their home advantage to the fullest by clinching
the top spot in both the overall women’s and men’s divisions. The Namibian men managed to secure the second overall place in front of the Zimbabweans. The Namibian ladies, on the other hand, were not able to finish in a podium place.
This year’s African States Tournament will also serve as qualifier event for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Scotland, which makes the competition even more important on the international calendar. The importance of the event will ensure world-class performances on the bowls green in Windhoek, as all countries will be represented with very strong and well-prepared teams. As a result Namibia can look forward to top class bowls action on Namibian soil.
A big upset happened last weekend when player Axel Krahenbuhl won the Namibian closed singles competition for the very first time last weekend to be crowned the local Bowls Singles Champion.
In the final, the 30 year old defeated the reigning champion William Esterhuizen by the narrowest of margins, beating him 8-6 in the second round, after the first round ended in a 7-7 stalemate. During the group phase, both finalists clinched the first place of their respective groups in a dominating fashion, whereby Esterhuizen’s points and his shot aggregate demonstrated why he more than any other player was the hot favourite for this year’s title again. Esterhuizen, 28 years of age, then went on to smash Johan Jacobs 12-2 and 15-0 in the semi final, while Krahenbuhl had more problems defeating Graham Snyman 13-1 and 8-6 in his semi final.
Yet, in a highly contested final it was Krahenbuhl he kept an upper hand against his rival.
Krahenbuhl was selected 3 weeks ago for the Namibian National Team to represent his country at the African States Tournament (AST) next month. With this weekend’s victory, he also himself to represent Namibia in New Zealand next year to compete against the world’s best singles players at the “Champion of Champions” world cup.
In the woman’s division, Diana Viljoen took the honors by beating Jenny Gardiner in the final and claim her spot for New Zeeland. Viljoen took a firm seat in the driving seat winning the first set with 9-4. Her counterpart, however, had other ideas and won the second set 1-12. The third set had to bring a final decision. Viljoen, winner of three previous editions, kept a cool head and took home the title by winning 4-2.
In the semi final the later Champion nearly had to kiss her title ambitions good bye as she had all sorts of problems with another title contender, Marie van der Merwe. Viljoen lost the first set 7-9, but showed great character by bouncing back and winning the next two set’s 10-2 and 3-1. Gardiner beat Marietjie du Preez with 9-3 and 11-3 in her semi final.