With six rounds to go in the MTC Namibia Premier League, Cymot SKW have suddenly emerged as real title contenders by going to the top of the log.
With African Stars setting the early pace, not many people had considered the German club as title contenders, but they remained unbeaten over the past two months, beating teams like Orlando Pirates and Eleven Arrows along the way. This has catapulted them to the top, and SKW fans will now be hoping that they can win the league title for the first time since gaining promotion four seasons ago.
Second-placed Stars, who were unbeaten throughout the first round, lost two matches in quick succession to Black Africa and Civics, but with a match in hand they are still well placed to regain the lead. Civics are also back in the title hunt, five points off the pace, while Arrows have an outside chance of coming into contention.
Black Africa has surged up the log after an unbeaten run of six matches, but it may have come too late, while defending champions Orlando Pirates’ chances of retaining the title seem to be over. Whatever the outcome, the league is set to go down to the wire and a lot of drama, twists and turns can still be expected in this season’s race.
Namibia’s Brave Warriors have produced some promising results, drawing three friendly matches against Botswana, Angola and Lebanon over the past month. Especially against Angola they gave a great display and some exciting friendly matches could now be in the offing ahead of next month’s Confederations Cup in South Africa.
There is a lot more soccer in the May edition, ranging from the Namibian Newspaper Cup to women’s soccer. The Newspaper Cup was a big success, drawing record crowds over Easter to Katutura’s Sam Nujoma Stadium. Namibia’s 13 regions battled it out on the brand new artificial turf which was sponsored by FIFA and Omaheke went on to beat Khomas in the final to win the title for a third time.
Women’s soccer is flourishing in Namibia and this month also sees the launch of the Galz & Goals project for girls’ football which is being sponsored by UNICEF.
In cricket, Namibia’s national team came agonisingly close to qualifying for the 2011 Cricket World Cup. Going into the last match they still had an outside chance of finishing amongst the top four nations, but they crashed to a 21-run defeat against Afghanistan to finish eighth out of the 12 competing nations. With Namibia’s World Cup dream now shattered, they will have to pick up the pieces and start all over again by aiming to qualify for the next World Cup in 2015. In the meantime emphasis should be placed on development and grooming more black players for national selection.
In hockey, the University of Namibia continued their fantastic run of the past decade by winning the Men’s Premier League Indoor title for the ninth year in a row. It is an exceptional achievement, and a huge pity that this talented squad, and men’s hockey in general, has not been able to compete a lot internationally over the same period. With the African Cup of Nations coming up in Ghana in July, it is imperative that Namibia tests its abilities against the top nations on the continent, but at this stage it seems doubtful due to the exorbitant costs involved.
In the May issue we also report on rugby, which is preparing for crucial World Cup qualifiers against the Ivory Coast in June, and athletics, where some of our juniors have put in impressive performances at local events, while marathon runners Helalia Johannes and Reinhold Iita excelled internationally.
There is a lot more to read, and remember to log on to our website at www.namibiasport.com.na to catch the latest results, reports, log tables, photos, interviews and even videos on Namibian sport. Last month we had a record 490 669 total hits and its still increasing.