Jakob Machleidt of the German Private School DHPS and Antoinnette van Wyk of M&K Gertze were the singles winners of the Namibian Under 18 Table Tennis Championships which were held at the JTL Beukes Primary School in Rehoboth on Saturday.
The tournament was administrated by the NTTA and was a huge success, thoroughly enjoyed by all involved.
The tournament, which was well attended by 58 boys and 14 girls, saw players from Windhoek, Rehoboth, Mariental and as far as Stampriet in action. Players from the coastal towns unfortunately did not attend.
This traditional tournament had a knockout format and a plate section for both the boys and girls singles categories.
In the Boy’s Plate Division, Conwin van Wyk from Dr. Lemmer High School came out victorious beating Ritchie Scheepers from Rehoboth High School (2 – 0) to win the consolation prize.
The plate section included all players who lost their first match in the main draw. In the Girl’s Plate section, M&K Gertze’s Roxanne Polster beat Nicole van Wyk of Ruimte Primary School 2 – 0 to win the title.
The finals, which included the Boys Doubles, Girls and Boys Singles Finals, were played on the Centre Court in the middle of the hall. It was the NTTA Team’s vision to give the best players of the day the opportunity to play in front of a crowd and thus receive the credit for their effort.
These three matches were played one after each other and were umpired to international standards by two of Namibia’s top senior players Yury Vasin and Wayne Green.
The boy’s doubles final was contested between two teams from Windhoek and Mariental respectively. The Deutsche Höhere Privat Schule (DHPS)’s Jakob Machleidt and Dennis Schreiber faced off against a combination of Mariental High School’s Donovan Mahali and Elnatan’s PW Steenkamp.
The final was convincingly won by the DHPS duo in three straight sets (11 – 5, 11 – 2, 11 - 6). This was the DHPS duo’s second title in three years and Machleidt’s third title in three years.
The Girl’s Singles Final was up next and saw M&K Gerzte’s Antoinette van Wyk taking on Rehoboth High School’s Paula Mouton. Van Wyk made short work of Mouton, taking the title in three straight sets (14 – 12, 11 – 9, 11 - 3). This was the 17-year-old Van Wyk’s first girls single title.
The Boys Singles final was the last and most competitive match of the day. The top seeded and current top ranked junior in Namibia, Jakob Machleidt (DHPS) had a thrilling and nail-biting battle with the surprise player of the day, Brendon Hansen of Mariental High School, who is currently ranked 16th in Namibia on the official NTTA rankings.
Hansen, who played in his first final, made Machleidt’s life very difficult forcing him into a five-setter. Machleidt however comfortably won the fifth set 11-5 to take the title.
This was Machleidt’s second consecutive final and his first Namibia National U18 Table Tennis title. The final score in favour of Machleidt was 11 – 6, 10 – 12, 11 – 6, 9 – 11, 11 - 5.
This was also the last time that the NTTA held an U18 championship. From 2013 onwards, the NTTA will split the tournament into two tournaments, namely a Cadet and Junior Table Tennis Championship. The Cadet Championships will be for the Under 15’s and the Junior Championships for under the 18’s.
The latest NTTA National u/18 rankings can be viewed on the official NTTA Facebook page: Namibia Table Tennis Association (NTTA).