The Zimbabwe U19 Girls water-polo squad powered to a 9-7 victory in the championship third place play-off against Central Gauteng in Port Elizabeth this morning.
Coming off the back of a classic case of “so close yet so far” with their semi-final loss against Border, the girls had to dig deep to find courage and inspiration to pull off a win against a well drilled Central Gauteng A side. Courage they found, and at this moment we can only speculate that maybe our words here helped them.
At the end of the last chukka Zimbabwe were deserved winners with skipper Sinead Cockcroft leading her charges to a 9-7 win. The two point lead was all that was needed to earn the Zimbabwe girls a podium finish, clinching the bronze medal. Asked for a comment after all the proceedings Sinead told SSN, “We played very well, just unfortunate about our semi-final. We beat the gold medalists!” The gold medalists being Western Province who lost to Zimbabwe in their pool match.
The championships which came to life over the weekend on Saturday, 7 December featured all of South Africa’s provinces and Zimbabwe split into two divisions – A and B – based on previous performances. Given how small the selection pool for Zimbabwe is, the tournament was fitting in terms of competition and Zimbabwe’s efforts over the four days in East London indicate that, as a nation we have taken the right path in developing water-polo athletes.
Zimbabwe’s U19 Boys water-polo team was also at the championships were they featured in the boys’ B division. The squad fared well, going all the way to the finals were they lost 7-11 to KwaZulu Natal who claimed gold in the division. Well done to both teams for flying Zimbabwe’s flag high.
|Zimbabwe U19 Girls Waterpolo|
|Sinead Cockcroft (Captain)|
|Zimbabwe U19 Boys Waterpolo|