TENNIS: Zimbabwe’s tennis team doubles made the country proud when they won gold and silver medals in the boys and girls doubles respectively today at the on-going AUSC Region 5 youth games being held in Bulawayo.
Ronzai Saurombe and Tare Mariga teamed up against Pieter Daniel and Toto Kudzai of Namibia in a final match that had to end up with a tie breaker. The Zimbabwean duo however kept strong and finally landed the gold medal after scoring 3-6, 6-3 (10-7).
The girls, Valeria Bhunu and 16 year old Rufaro Chirewa had to settle for silver after they lost by 6-7, 6-4 (7-10) to Kadamanj Winnie and Mkhoma Zione of Malawi, a match that also went to a third set to break a tie. Tennis has now concluded at the games, with Zimbabwe taking home the most medals with 1 gold, 2 silvers and 2 bronzes in the discipline.
NETBALL: The Zimbabwe Young Gems national netball team put up a magnificent performance when they faced the defending champions South Africa in the final, emerging as victors and winning the gold medal for the host country.
The game staged at the new courts built at White City Stadium saw the community packing the stands and singing and dancing alongside the Region 5 Games mascot Jumbo the elephant.
The two teams were equally balanced although Zimbabwe was more mobile than the taller South Africans. The Young Gems came into the final quarter of the game with a boost and increased the margin from a two point difference of 31-33 to the final score of 37-45 to emerge victorious. Full report here.
SWIMMING: Team Zimbabwe began the second day of swimming failed to qualify from many heats in a pool dominated by South African swimmers.
The hosts were represented in all races, but all fell short in qualification time for many to advance to final races. Chad Idensohn 52.67 in the 100m freestyle to qualify for the final as did James Lawson, a medal hopeful in the 50 metre breaststroke, which he swam in 30.20 seconds.
Team Zimbabwe are currently lying third on the combined team swim score charts after second place Namibia. Neighbors South Africa continued their dominance in the discipline with almost all their athletes leading in all races. Detailed report here.
ATHLETICS: Team Zimbabwe started the third day of athletics competitions at White City Stadium with mixed results. In the women’s 400m hurdles race, Kellyrose Tapfumaneyi of Zimbabwe took the silver. In the men’s 400m hurdles, however, Zimbabwe was left wtihout a medal as Mozambique took the gold, South Africa the silver and Botswana the bronze.
Zimbabwe continued a pattern of dominance in the middle distances, where Zimbabwe earned gold and silver in both men’s and women’s 5000m races yesterday. Today Zimbabwe earned both the silver and bronze medals in the men’s 1500m competitions, with Botswana’s runner taking the gold in a convincing win. In the semi-finals of the women’s 200m race, Hillcrest College’s Ruvarashe Mzinde clocked a personal best of 24.95 seconds to finish second. Mzinde, a medal hopeful in tomorrow’s final, won gold in the Lusaka Region 5 games in 2012.
With a estimated crowd of 5000 spectators, athletics ended prematurely this afternoon as heavy rains pelted down on the track and waterlogged the jump pits, causing officials to postpone the rest of the events until tomorrow. As a result, events scheduled for tomorrow morning, such as men’s triple jump, will now be held on Saturday.
South Africa is leading the athletics medal table with 8 gold medals, with Zimbabwe and Mozambique closely on their trail with 6 athletic golds each.
FOOTBALL: U17 Boys’ football is coming to its conclusion with the semi-final berths decided. Namibia’s scoreless draw with South Africa earned them the second Group B semi-final spot alongside Zambia who’s 4-0 victory over Lesotho left them at the top of their group. In Group A, Angola faces a winless Swaziland and Zimbabwe faces Malawi tomorrow for the last two slots in the semi-finals.
BASKETBALL: Mozambique was in the middle of an electrifying lead over Malawi this afternoon when the rains began in Bulawayo. Despite being played on the new indoor court installed in ZITF Hall 5, the game had to be abandoned midstream after the roof began leaking badly, producing a dangerously slippery floor and in danger of damaging the new surface. The game will resume tomorrow from the point it left, with Mozambique winning 25-18 in the first half.