By SANDRA MWILA
ZAMBIA bagged six individual medals as South Africa made a clean sweep of gold at the just-ended Confederation of Southern African Table Tennis Association (CSATTA) Zone six Championships held in Lusaka.
Despite facing stiff competition from experienced South Africa, Zambia managed to win two silver medals in the men’s mixed doubles and added four bronze from the women and mixed doubles events, topping up on the team events’ tally.
Zambia won silver in the men’s team event and a bronze in the women category but it was not clear as to how many players were awarded the medals after South Africa brought only three players for the team event that allows five players.
The event held at the Olympic Youth Development Centre (OYDC) saw Zambia getting the silver medals through Friday Ng’andu and Simasiku Kalaluka, who reached the finals but lost to Cody Meyer and Terrence Mathole of South Africa 3-1 in set scores of 14-12, 11-7, 11-8, 8-11.
Gertrude Phiri and Kate Phiri each won Zambia a bronze medal after reaching the semi finals of the women doubles but lost to 3-1 (11-7, 13-11, 12-10, 9-11) to Oabona Raditloko and Jade Sasmah of Botswana.
Kate then partnered with Noel Kasanda in the mixed doubles where they each struck a bronze following a 3-0 defeat to Caitlin Lingeveldt and Meyer with set scores of 11-9, 11-5, 12-10.
Seventeen-year-old Mathole won the singles event to get gold after beating his fellow South African Meyer in a tightly contested final that was decided in six sets.
Mathole recorded an emphatic 11-3, 11-7, 11-4, 11-9, 6-11, 11-3 victory.
The women singles title was won by Khanyisele Madlala, also of South Africa, after beating her fellow team-mate Lingeveldt 11-9, 11-7, 11-9, 11-7, 11-7, 5-11. The two teamed up to win the women doubles following a 3-0 win over Raditloko and Sasmah.
The mixed doubles event saw Mathloe pairing with Madlala to beat the duo of Lingeveldt and Meyer in an exciting all South African final winning 3-0 (11-9, 11-5, 12-10) to share the gold and silver medals.
And Zambia Table Tennis Association (ZTTA) patron Haroon Ghumra expressed happiness with Zambia’s overall performance.
Ghumra said Zambia’s performance had greatly improved as compared unlike in the last years and that there was need for the players to continue working hard but that there must be exposed to regional and international competitions.