Krugel-Greeff wins Namibia’s 6th medal

Namibia cycling team manager Tauko Shilongo (centre) with Namibia’s female cycling team, Monique du Plessis, Olivia Shililifa, Anri Krugel-Greeff and Jean-Marie Mostert. Photo: Contributed

Anri Krugel-Greeff won Namibia’s sixth medal at the Africa Games in Accra, Ghana on Tuesday when she came second in the women’s criterium.

Competing in extremely hot and humid conditions with temperatures up to 43 degrees, Krugel-Greeff finished second with a total of 12 points, behind the winner Hayley Preen of South Africa on 22 points, while Diane Ingabire of Rwanda came third on eight points.

It was Namibia’s first medal in cycling and along with the four medals in swimming and one in wrestling, Namibia now have a total of six medals to put them 11th overall on the medal ranking table. 

“I’m so, so happy to have secured silver in this race. This certainly made the hard work and difficult conditions all worth it. Time to recover and head home,” Krugel-Greeff said on her FB page. 

The women’s criterium consisted of 20 laps of 2,8km each for a total of 56km, with sprint laps on the fourth, eighth, 12th, 16th and the final lap.

Krugel-Greeff missed out on points on the first two sprints after finishing sixth and seventh respectively, but then joined a breakaway group along with Preen and Ingabire and started raking in the points. She finished second behind Preen on the final three sprint stages to move into second position overall to claim the silver medal. 

“We managed to work together and stay away at the front, with the rest of my team controlling the race from behind – Jean Marie Mostert, Monique du Plessis and Olivia Shililifa, I’m so proud of you guys,” she added on FB.

Cycling team manager Tauko Shilongo said it was a huge achievement for Namibian cycling. 

“The silver medal that Anri got is a huge achievement for Cycling Namibia and the Namibian sport fraternity at large and we dedicate the silver medal to our late president Dr Hage Geingob – may his soul rest in peace,” he said. 

“The temperature is unbearable, the cyclists were riding in 43 degrees – it’s hot and humid, not dry like we are used to, so to do so well is great and it shows that Namibian cycling is making a name for itself and is a force to be reckoned with,” he added.

In the men’s criterium, Kevin Lowe was well placed, but his medal hopes were dashed when he was involved in a crash on the final lap. He managed to recover and complete the race, along with team captain Martin Freyer, although Danzel de Koe and Adrian Key dropped out due to the heat, according to Shilongo. 

“In the men’s race, Martin and the team rode for Kevin, but unfortunately someone rode into him on the final lap which prevented him from performing optimally in the final sprint. He would have had a strong finish, but he still managed to complete the race and finished 15th in the u23 category to collect some valuable UCI international ranking points,” Shilongo said.

Wantenaar just misses third medal

In swimming, Ronan Wantenaar narrowly missed out on a third medal after finishing fourth in the men’s 50m breaststroke final on Tuesday evening. 

Wantenaar had earlier won gold in the 100m breaststroke and silver in the 200m breaststroke, but in the 50m sprint he finished fourth in 28,36 seconds, with Jaouad Syoud of Algeria taking gold in 27,98; Youssef Elkamash of Egypt silver in 28,27 and Adrian Robinson of Botswana bronze in 28,28.

Oliver Durand also narrowly missed out on a medal after coming fourth in the men’s 400m individual medley final. 

Syoud of Algeria won gold in 4:24,59, his compatriot Ramzi Chouchar won silver in 4:30,95, and Liam Vehbi of South Africa won bronze in 4:31,54, while Durand came fourth in 4:32,04.

Jessica Humphrey reached the women’s 100m backstroke final, where she finished sixth in 1:06,12, while Sara El Sammany of Egypt won gold in 1:03,31, Tayla Jonker of South Africa silver in 1:03,36, and Donata Katai of Zimbabwe bronze in 1:03,77.

Molly Smalley also finished sixth in the women’s 400m individual medley final in 5:15,81, with Catherine van Rensburg of South Africa winning gold in 4:56,13, Raina Nefsi of Algeria silver in 5:01,60 and Kate Meyer of South Africa bronze in 5:02,63. 

The Namibian men’s team of Ronan Wantenaar, Xander Skinner, Oliver Durand and Jose Canjulo reached the men’s 4x100m freestyle final where they finished fifth in 3:29,79, with South Africa winning gold in 3:23,86, Egypt silver in 3:25,43 and Nigeria bronze in 3:26,01. 

The Namibian women’s team of Molly Smalley, Reza Westerduin, Jessica Humphrey and Trisha Mutumbulua reached the 400m freestyle final, but were unfortunately disqualified after one of the swimmers’ reaction time was too quick. 

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