The First National bank Interschool’s Table tennis Championships was held on Saturday 8 August 2015, at the Deutsche Höhere Privatschule in Windhoek.
It was clear from the onset that the powerhouses of school’s table tennis were not going to have things their way as a few new comers immediately made their presence felt. Windhoek Gymnasium who returned from a long absence was a surprise semi-finalist with debutants Windhoek High School who also competed very well.
The boys competed in two groups of 5 schools each and the two top teams in each group advanced to the semi-final play-offs. The biggest casualty of the day was Rehoboth High School, a finalist from 2014 who did not reach the semi-finals after losing to Windhoek Gymnasium and Mariental High School during the group play-offs.
The 1st semi-finals were between Windhoek Gymnasium and the Deutsche Höhere Privatschule (DHPS) and the 2nd was between Elnatan Private School and Mariental High School. In the 1st semi-final Kean Tait played his heart out for Windhoek Gymnasium, but the DHPS team of Ethan Januarie, Yannick Bohn, Patrick Beggs and Andreas Fechter were too strong for Tait and the two van der Walt brothers (Tjaart and Kosie), who played their 1st ever table tennis tournament. DHPS came out victors for the 1st semi-final as they beat Windhoek Gymnasium 3- 0.
The other semi-final was also settled in straight sets with the consistency of Zwandile Kooper, Ewan Orlam and Delton Dreyer of Mariental High School being too much for the inexperienced trio of Elnatan (Beon Carstens, Lloyd Mills and Dieter Lenhardt), who missed some of their experienced players. The trio from Elnatan however put up a brave attempt before going down 3-0.
The table was then set for a great final and DHPS was 1st out of the blocks when Bohn overcame the reigning Namibia Junior Champ, Zwandile Kooper in a tight game. The next two matches however went in favour of Mariental High School when Dreyer beat Januarie. Dreyer then joined forces with Orlam to overpower recent Namibia senior men’s doubles bronze medalists, Bohn and Beggs in a closely contested doubles match.
Kooper learnt from his mistakes in the 1st match and sealed victory for the Marientalers by accounting for Januarie in an action-packed match that ended 3-1 in favour of Kooper.
Play-off for third place was battled out between Windhoek Gymnasium and Elnatan Private School. Elnatan, the 2014 champions found the going tough against the newcomers and had to settle for 4th place.
The girls division was, as expected, won by new entrants, Windhoek Gymnasium who had the luxury of having the two top-seeded junior National players in the team this year. With their main rivals from Elnatan and M&K Gertze School not present, Windhoek Gymnasium cruised to victory, compliments to Kaitlyn Beukes and Reese Saunderson. The Holy Cross Convent team consisting of Jana Hein, Tanya Master, Nangula Iita and Kalapuse Ashipala repeated their feat of 2014 by winning silver again. Third place (bronze) went to Rehoboth High school, represented by Melanie van Wyk and Zandria Benz.
The event was made possible by a much-appreciated sponsorship from First National Bank Namibia.
The results are as follows:
Gold Mariental High School Silver DHPS
Bronze Windhoek Gymnasium
Windhoek Gymnasium Holy Cross Convent Rehoboth High School