South African National Championships, surprise winner, young players attract attention

Organised for the first time by the Mpumalanga Table Tennis Association; after seven days of intense competition, play in the 2018 South African National Championships came to a close in the Secunda Ukhozi Lodge on Saturday 30th June.

A full schedule, in addition to Men’s Singles and Women’s Singles events, competitions in the Under 13, Under 15 and Under 18 age groups were held.


Kurt Lingeveldt (left) and (right) Danisha Patel, the respective Men’s Singles and Women’s Singles champions (Photo: courtesy of the South Africa Table Tennis Board) by Olalekan Okusan, ITTF-Africa Press Officer

Furthermore there were surprises, no more so than in the Men’s Singles event; nine times champion Shane Overmeyer was beaten at the final hurdle by Kurt Lingeveldt who,by emerging successful, secured his second such title.

Success for Kurt Lingevelt, in the corresponding Women’s Singles event it was success for Danisha Patel; in the title deciding contest she accounted for Simeen Mookrey.

The Women’s Singles final in the Secunda Ukhozi Lodge (Photo: courtesy of the South African Table Tennis Board)

Impressive performance but it was very much the younger players who caught the eye.

Cade Peters won the Under 18 Boys’ Singles title with the counterpart Under 18 Girls Singles event being secured by Lekesha Johnson. Impressive performances it was the same from Refai Yaghya and Kiara Naidoo who were crowned respective Under 15 Boys’ Singles and Under 15 Girls’ Singles champions. Meanwhile, in the Under 13 Boys’ Singles competition, Nur Van Wyk secured gold, whilst the top step of the podium in the Under 13 Girls’ Singles event was reserved by Kailey Anne Reddy.

Most certainly the results and the outcome of the tournament in general, pleased Joe Carrim, the President of the South Africa Table Tennis Board.

“The results showed good progress from other provinces, although the Western Cape dominance still prevailed. Players from Botswana and Zimbabwe participated in the Open Championship. Sadly Namibia could not make it this year having participated in previous Championships.” Joe Carrim

A successful tournament and to some extent it was a ground breaking event.

“It was the first Championships where the accommodation was on site; it presented an awesome occasion for the players to mix and cement relationships. The hall was too small for the Championships; the technical and tournament committee pulled out all the stops to ensure that all participants had a memorable Championships. Congratulations to the committee, the management teams of the respective affiliates of the South Africa Table Tennis Board; our heartfelt thanks to Botswana and Zimbabwe for their presence, as well as to all the sport departments that assisted their teams from the various provinces.” Joe Carrim Now the event over it is time to look forward. “The South Africa National Championships is one of the main criteria for selection for the African and World Championships. A squad will be selected, current performance and consistency form the criteria for selection.” Joe Carrim