Hockey chases Olympic dream

Namibia face six nations on the road to qualification for Tokyo 2020

10 July 2019 | Sports

LIMBA MUPETAMI



Namibia’s senior national women’s hockey team face a tough task ahead, as they battle it out for a place at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

They will come up against six other countries in the Africa qualifier, which will be held in South Africa from 12 to 18 August.

The women’s team is buoyant about their chances of navigating their way through the qualifiers. If they do make the journey to Tokyo, it will be the first time that the team competes at an Olympic Games.

The Namibians, ranked 42nd in the world will be up against some stiff competition

They will be up against Ghana (ranked 32nd), Kenya (43rd) Nigeria (48th), South African (15th), Uganda (no ranking) and Zimbabwe (66th) for the sole African spot at Tokyo 2020.

“Following our recent participation at the FIH Series Finals in Spain we managed to move two places up on the world rankings,” said head coach Erwin Haindura.

Namibia lost all three matches their matches the International Hockey Federation (FIH) Series Finals in Valencia, Spain.

“Despite our showing in Valencia we stand a good chance to qualify for the first time. This is going to be very important for the players because the qualifier not only serves as an Olympic qualifier, but also as a Commonwealth qualifier,” Haindura added.

Two players, Taramarie Myburgh and Dure Boshoff, who was part of the squad in Spain will not accompany the team to South Africa, as they are grade 12 pupils and are thus studying for their examinations.

A provisional squad is as follows: Magreth Mengo (captain), Petro Stoffberg, Jerrica Bartlett, Sunelle Ludwig, Gillian Hermanus, Kiana-Che Cormack, Danja Meyer, Cele Wessels, Berencia Diamond, Jahntwa Kruger, Emilia Kashopola, Ina Louis, Joane van Rooyen, Armin van Staden, Jocelle Deysell, and Jivanka Kruger.