Table Tennis made history this past weekend at SKW when father & daughter won the singles men’s and ladies titles. Rudi Saunderson and his daughter Reese Saunderson clinched the single titles in the men and ladies category for the Namibian National Closed Championship held on Saturday 25th July 2015 at the SKW.
Rudi Saunderson, currently ranked 8th took a lot of scalps on his route to the final. He had to go pass the the 3rd 5th and 1st Ranked players in the group of 16, quarterfinals and semi-finals respectively to secure his place in the final.. In the final he came against Reinhardt Stanley another surprised finalist after beating the second seed Wayne Green. The Final was quite a cliff-hanger as the momentum kept on swinging between them. Stanley managed to grab 2 set from behind when all looked done and dusted, but it was perseverance and a big hunger for the title that finally swung it back in Saunderson’s favour and he eventually clinched it with a 4-2 victory... Wayne Green and Heiko Fleidl got the bronze medals as semi-finalists. It took Rudi Saunderson 20 years to repeat the feat of his late younger brother Richard Saunderson who won the Namibian National Championship Title back in 1995. The playing format was based on a round-robin group stage with knockout elimination from the group of 16 onwards.
Rudi almost repeated this feat when he and Wayne Green teamed up against Fleidl and the veteran, Wulf Pinsenchaum for the prestigious doubles title. It was however Fleidl & Pinsenchaum who succeeded in securing the doubles title as nerves got the better of Saunderson & Green. It was Pinsenchaum first tournament since 2010 and a storybook comeback. Surprise of the tournament was Patrick Beggs and Yannick Bohn who won the bronze medal in the doubles category, showing that the level of the juniors is picking up.
In the senior ladies category Reese Saunderson once again showed her class when she won the gold medal by defeating, Kaitlyn Beukes, in straight sets. They met earlier in the Men’s Category as we allow our top ladies to participate in the men’s category where Kaitlyn got the early victory, but it was Reese that came through on the one that counts the most.
The plate division winners were Reese Saunderson and Kaitlyn Beukes.
The next NTTA next event is the Interschool’s championship scheduled for the 8th of August and it is anticipated that schools from the Hardap, Erongo & Khomas region. It is anticipated that about 8 boys teams and 8 girls teams will participate in this prestigious annual event.