Skinner wins first Namibian medal

Xander Skinner with dissolver medal. Photo: contributed

Xander Skinner won Namibia’s first medal at the Africa Games in Accra, Ghana on Saturday when he came second in the men’s 100m freestyle final. 

Jimmie Clayton of South Africa won the gold medal in 46,29 seconds, while Skinner came second in 49,29 seconds, and Ahmed Abdallah of Egypt third in 50,99 seconds. 

Earlier, Skinner won his heat in a time of 50,81 seconds to qualify for the final.

Namibia’s Jose Canjulo, however, failed to qualify for the final when he finished seventh in 54,26 in the same heat. 

Sixteen-year-old Oliver Durand reached the men’s 200m butterfly final where he came fifth in 2:08,07. The race was won by Ahmed Abdallah of Egypt in 2:01,87, with Fares Benzidoun of Algeria taking silver in 2:02,21 and Liam Vehbi of South Africa bronze in 2:03,79. 

In the women’s 100m, Namibia’s two swimmers Mollina Smalley and Jessica Humphrey failed to reach the final. Smalley came sixth in her heat in 1:02,28, while Humphrey came fifth in her heat in 1:01,43. 

In the final, Caitlin de Lange of South Africa won the gold medal in 55,53 seconds, followed by Farida Osman of Egypt (55,62) and Anna Muzito of Uganda (56,01). 

In the women’s 1 500m freestyle final Namibia’s Reza Westerduin just missed out on a medal after finishing fourth in 18:50,33. Catherine van Rensburg of South Africa won gold in 16:47,61, while Lojine Abdallah of Egypt won silver in 17:13,46, and Rafaela Santo of Angola bronze in 18:38,70. 

In the mixed 100m freestyle relay Namibia’s team of Xander Skinner, Oliver Durand, Molly Smalley and Jessica Humphrey qualified for the final after winning their heat in 3:49,58.

Namibia, however, missed out on a medal after finishing fifth in the final in 3:43,88. South Africa won gold in 3:34,41, with Egypt winning silver in 3:37,01 and Algeria bronze in 3:40,45. 

Greeff top cyclist 

In cycling, Anri Greeff was Namibia’s best performer in the women’s 100km road race on Saturday, finishing 11th overall in a time of two hours 42 minutes 25 seconds.

Greeff was amongst the leaders throughout the race, and just lost ground on the final sprint. 

Haylee Preen of South Africa won the race in two hours 41 minutes and 53 seconds, with Aurelie Halbwachs of Mauritius winning silver in 2:42:16 and Ese Ukpeseraye of Nigeria bronze in 2:42:18. 

Jeanne Marie Mostert of Namibia came 17th overall in 2:42:33, while Olivia Shililifa came 23rd overall in 2:45:13. Monique du Plessis had two crashes and was eventually pulled off but she nevertheless completed the race. 

In the women’s cricket competition, Namibia’s Capricorn Eagles suffered their second successive defeat after going down by one wicket to Tanzania yesterday. 

After winning the toss and electing to bat Namibia scored 103 for eight wickets off their 20 overs, while Tanzania replied with 107/9 with eight balls to spare. 

In Namibia’s innings, captain Yasmeen Khan scored 48 off 45 balls (5×4, 1×6), and shared a 75-run third wicket partnership with Wilka Mwatile, who scored 33. They, however, received little support with none of the other batters reaching double figures. 

In Tanzania’s innings opening batter Saum Mtae scored 41 off 30 balls (2×4, 2×6), while Wilka Mwatile, Kayleen Green and Arrasta Diergaardt took two wickets each for Namibia.

Namibia’s tournament got off to a great start on Thursday when they beat South Africa by one run on the Duckworth Lewis Stern method.

Namibia scored 89 runs for seven wickets off their 20 overs, and after rain interrupted play, South Africa were set a winning target of 30 runs off six overs. They, however, could only reach 29 for four, to give Namibia a narrow win. 

In Namibia’s innings, Wilka Mwatile scored 37 runs, Edelle van Zyl 19 and Yasmeen Khan 17 runs. 

In South Africa’s innings, Mwatile made an early breakthrough with the ball, dismissing Annerie Dercksen for a duck, before Kayleen Green cut through SA’s middle order with three quick wickets to reduce them to 29/4 to clinch a thrilling one run victory. 

The next day, Namibia, however, slumped to a 55-run defeat to Nigeria. 

Nigeria posted 111 runs for six wickets off their 20 overs, with Salome Enobong scoring 40 runs, while Green took two wickets for 19 runs. Namibia were then bundled out for 56 with captain Yasmeen Khan top scoring with 17 runs.

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