MONTJANE SECURES SECOND US DOUBLES TITLE.

St. Louis, USA. – South African women’s leading wheelchair tennis ace Kgothatso Montjane claimed her own slice of history at the weekend with partner Macarena Cabrillana, streaking to her second US Open doubles crown at St. Louis in America.

Kgothatso Montjane
Picture credit: Reg Caldecott


The South African-Chilean duo downed Dana Mathewson (USA) and Lucy Shuker (GBR) with a stunning 6-2 4-6 6-4 win to record their major doubles title in team debut.

The 30-year-old Montjane is hitting her stride in the history books, with the Limpopo native still the first and old woman from South Africa to lift the US Open doubles trophy and her fifth International Tennis Federation (ITF) Super Series title.

I can’t explain with words what this win means to me, I was hoping to make it a double and win the singles title but I am very happy with what I have achieved”, said Montjane.

In the singles event, the world number nine cruised through to the last four without dropping a set but was outplayed by Britain’s Lucy Shuker 6-3 7-6(6).

Meanwhile, in the quads event, South African world number three Lucas Sithole was overpowered and prevented from collecting his first US Open Super Series title by American former world number one David Wagner. Sithole was eliminated in the finals on Sunday by the defending champion Wagner 7-6(4) 6-4.

In the men’s tournament, Evans Maripa faced a tough quarter-final round challenge when he went up against former world number one Japanese Shingo Kunieda. The world number 17 Maripa fought but could not match Kunieda’s fantastic form losing 6-4 6-2.

Wheelchair Tennis South Africa (WTSA) General Manager Karen Losch said: “As it is one of our aims at WTSA to develop champions, we are very proud of the achievements of our athletes and we continue to give them support. We are delighted that they have already taken a further step into the sport and in doing so have become role models for future generations.”


LLOYD HARRIS CLIMBS 33 SPOTS ON WORLD RANKING AFTER BACK TO BACK TOURNAMENT WINS

Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt; South Africa’s Lloyd Harris has climbed some 33 spots on the latest ATP World Tour men’s singles world rankings after back to back wins in Egypt over the past two weeks.

Lloyd Harris


Harris, aged 19 of Cape Town, won both $10 000 Futures played at the Soho Square tennis club in Sharm el Sheikh using his powerful serve en route to victory in both tournaments. Harris standing at 6’4” served a total of 57 aces in last week’s event. In both tournaments, Harris who was seeded two and one respectively, lost only one set in the total of ten matches played over the two tournaments.

This week Harris is ranked 343 making him the second highest ranked South African singles player on the world rankings after Kevin Anderson who is ranked 48. Harris reached a career singles high of 310 in March this year.

Ends


IRVETTE WINS THIRD SPAR GRAND PRIX TITLE

Johannesburg, South Africa - Irvette van Zyl (Nedbank) made short work of snapping up the 2016 SPAR Grand Prix with a magnificent victory in the final SPAR Women’s 10km Challenge series race in Joburg on Sunday.

SPAR Grand Prix 2016 title winner Irvette Van Zyl at the SPAR Women’s Race Joburg at the Wanderers Sporting Club on Sunday the 9th October 2016 celebrating after crossing the finish line.

Photo Credit : Reg Caldecott


Van Zyl dominated the SPAR Grand Prix throughout the year. She won the first three races, in Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Durban, where her record time earned her 10 valuable bonus points. But a foot injury prevented her from competing in the Pretoria race in August, and it appeared that the Grand Prix might not come her way after all.
“I was determined to come back and earn enough points in the final race to win the Grand Prix and make up for my horrible Olympic Marathon disappointment,” she said.
Van Zyl‘s foot injury forced her to withdraw from the Marathon at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
“I so badly wanted to do well in the Marathon to make up for my Olympic Games disappointment in London, when I had to drop out of the race before the finish because of an injury. So now I have two massive Olympic Games disappointments and I was determined to win the Grand Prix as some form of compensation for those disappointments,” said Van Zyl.
Although she could have won the Grand Prix with a place in the top five in the race, Van Zyl left nothing to chance. She surged to the front right at the start of the race and finished nearly a minute ahead of second-placed Mapaseka Makhanya and earned bonus points for a record time.
Van Zyl finished the year with a total of 100 points. She will pocket R160 000.
Second place went to last year’s winner, Lebogang Phalula, who had 79 points. She will receive R53 000. Christine Kalmer, who finished nine points behind Phalula, finished in third place and will receive R32 000. Two points behind her was Phalula’s twin sister, Diana-Lebo, who receives R27 000. Makhanya, who is returning from injury, finished in fifth place with 61 points.
The SPAR Grand Prix celebrated its 10th anniversary this year by matching promising young runners up with former Grand Prix winners, who acted as mentors to the juniors. The mentorship programme proved worthwhile, as the first three in the junior category, were all in the programme. Simonay Weitsz, who was mentored by Makhanya, was top, with 35 points. She also finished in 10th position in the open category, with 33 points. Van Zyl’s protégée, Nicole van der Merwe was second, with 21 points, and Ashleigh Simonis, who missed two of the races, was third with 19 points. Simonis has Lebogang Phalula as her mentor.
In the club competition, the Phalulas’ club, Boxer, finished first, with 365 points. KPMG were second, with 328 and Nedbank were third, with 158 points.
Grand Prix coordinator Ian Laxton thanked the elite runners for making the effort to run in as many of the races as they could.
“This competition is without doubt the premier road running competition in South Africa for women, for both the mass of social runners and walkers as well as the professional elite group,” said Laxton.
“It is clear from a glance at the leader-board that our top athletes, virtually without fail, did their best to run as many races as possible, notwithstanding big international opportunities including World Championships in Cross-Country, European track and road races and, of course, the Rio Olympics. Where our regular elite athletes did not run, generally this was because they were injured,” said Laxton.


STORMING VAN ZYL WINS SPAR 10KM CHALLENGE AND GRAND PRIX

Johannesburg, South Africa - A determined Irvette van Zyl (Nedbank) led from start to finish in the Joburg SPAR Women’s 10km Challenge at the Wanderers Sporting Club to win in 34.58 minutes. At the same time she made sure of winning the 2016 SPAR Grand Prix for the third time.

The top three finishers in the 2016 SPAR Women’s Joburg 10km Challenge held on Sunday 9 October from left 3rd position Rutendo Nyahhora (Nedbank) 35:00, winner Irvette Van Zyl (Nedbank) 34:58 and 2nd position Mapaseka Makhanya (Olifantsfontein) 35:46

Irvette Van Zyl (Nedbank) crosses the finish line of the 2016 SPAR Women’s Joburg Challenge, winning the 10km race in 34:58. In winning the race on Sunday at The Wanderers Sporting Club, Van Zyl captured the 2016 SPAR Grand Prix title.

Picture credit: Reg Caldecott


Mapaseka Makhanya (Olifantsfontein) came from nowhere to claim second place in 35.46 minutes, ahead of Rutendo Nyahora (Nedbank), who finished in 36 minutes.
Van Zyl, who had to withdraw from the Olympic Marathon in Rio in August because of a stress fracture in her foot, set the pace from the start and opened up a 40 second gap before the first kilometer mark. Van Zyl won the first three races, in Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Durban, but was unable to run in Pretoria because of her injury.
“I knew what I had to do to win the Grand Prix. I got into the lead on the first uphill and decided that I was going to run my own race. If the others wanted to catch me, it was up to them,” said an elated Van Zyl.
“I’m so happy to have won and I am so glad it’s over – I have had nightmares about this race for about four weeks.
“I really wanted to win, to make up for my Olympic Games disappointment. I had planned to use the Olympic Games to compensate for my previous Olympic disappointment, when I had to drop out of the race in London, so I really need something good to happen.
“I think possibly I went out too fast and I forgot about one or two hills, so I struggled a bit in the last two kilometer’s, but I kept thinking about my little boy and my husband LJ, and was so happy when I got to the finish line and they were waiting for me,” she said.
With Van Zyl in command throughout the race, the real battle was for second place. Nyahora and last year’s winner Lebogang Phalula ran together for the first seven kilometers, with the lead changing hands frequently, before Makhanya surged ahead to claim second spot.
“I have been battling with injury for some time, and it was good to be running pain free,” said Makhanya.
“I am very strong mentally and I am very patient, and I used my patience today to surge at the right time. This 10km race is part of my training for the Shanghai Marathon at the end of October, and I am feeling very good,” she said.
“I was strong on the hills and that is what helped me.”
Nyahora said she was very happy to be on the podium and delighted to see her teammate Irvette van Zyl back in form.
“The SPAR race is always very important to me,” said Nyahora.
“Lebogang and I were challenging each other, but I think what helped me was that I was stronger on the hills. I am grateful to her, because she helped me push myself because I was determined I was going to beat her.”
Phalula, who ran her first marathon three weeks ago, dropped off the pace about midway through the race, and finished in sixth position, behind Glenrose Xaba and the Botswana runner, Onneile Dintwe. Phalula’s twin sister, Diana-Lebo, finished eighth.
A record entry of 14 562 women took part in Sunday’s race.


SOUTH AFRICA WINS NETBALL DIAMOND CHALLENGE

Durban, South Africa - South Africa retained their netball Diamond Challenge title with an emphatic 68-34 victory over Zimbabwe at the University of Durban-Westville on Wednesday night.

SPAR Proteas (position) Precious Mthembu holds the winning Diamond Challenge trophy as she and her team mates do a lap of honour at the University of KZN Westville Campus Tuesday evening. The SPAR Proteas beat Zimbabwe 68-34 in the final to retain their title.

The SPAR Proteas (position) celebrate after defending their title at the 2016 Diamond Challenge played at the University of KZN Westville Campus Tuesday evening. The SPAR Proteas beat Zimbabwe 68-34 in the final.

Photo Credit : Gerhard Duraan


The SPAR Proteas stamped their authority on the match from the start and were 18-11 up after the first quarter. That was Zimbabwe’s most successful quarter, as they were unable to reach double figures in the succeeding quarters. The match was played at a very fast pace, and the Zimbabweans gave a good account of themselves, but the vastly more experienced SPAR Proteas were just too much for them.
The South African midfielders were all outstanding, with Precious Mthembu at wing defence and Bongi Msomi at wing attack snatching balls from midair and turning over balls on numerous occasions. There were some thrilling passages of play and the Zimbabwean wing attack, Perpetua Siyachitema once again enthralled the crowd with her speed and footwork.
The three South African shooters, Sigi Burger, Lenize Potgieter and Renske Stoltz all had very good games. Potgieter played first at goal attack and then at goalshooter and her calm presence in the circle did much for the South African cause.
“A job well done,” said coach Norma Plummer.
“We’d played Zimbabwe before, so we knew what to expect. I started with a different line-up, because what I have been trying to do since I’ve been here is introduce new options and different styles of play.
“I think they have all responded well, and they are picking up on all the new ideas.
“It has been very rewarding as a coach,” said Plummer.
She said the performance of the President’s XII was also very pleasing, because it showed the depth of South African netball.
The earlier match, between Uganda and the President’s XII, ended in a thrilling 54-all draw, after Uganda led for most of the match.
Uganda dominated the first half, leading 12-8 after the first quarter and 27-24 at halftime. The President’s XII drew level with three minutes to go in before the halftime whistle, but Uganda responded with three goals in a row.
The third quarter also belonged to Uganda, who outscored the President’s XII by 15 goals to 13. In the final quarter, the President’s XII fought back. With just 90 seconds to go, they went into the lead for the first time. The ball swung from end to end, with the defence on both sides giving everything they had. Uganda went into the lead again and Lindie Lombard scored the equalizing goal in the dying seconds.


ROAD CLOSURES & PARKING INFO FOR SPAR WOMEN’S CHALLENGE ON SUNDAY

Johannesburg, South Africa - People living in the vicinity of the Wanderers in Illovo can expect some disruption on Sunday, when thousands of women take to the streets for the SPAR Women’s 10km Challenge and 5km Fun Run.
The organisers have stressed that the closures are for the safety of the 12 000 runners, and they have tried to cause as little disruption as possible.
A number of roads will be closed for the duration of the two races, but residents will have access, except when the race is actually in progress. The road closures have been approved by the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department.
Corlett Drive will be closed from Rudd Road to Irene Road and Irene Road from Corlett Drive and Kernick Avenue will be closed from 5am to 10am. From 7am, Corlett Drive, between Oxford Road and Rudd Road will also be closed.
There will be traffic detours from 7am to 10m on Oxford Road, between Bristol Road and Riviera Road, from 4th Avenue to Killarney Avenue.
In certain areas, road access will be restricted from 5am to 11am, with traffic using only half the road.
There will be no access to vehicles along the east side of Oxford Road, while there will be contra flow traffic on the west side of Oxford Road from Corlett Drive to Bristol Road. All the roads running into Oxford Road from the route side (the east side) will be closed for the duration of the race, but Oxford Road going towards Johannnesburg or Sandton will re-open when it is clear of runners.
There are also parking restrictions from five to 11 on Sunday morning. No parking will be allowed on North Road, between Bute Road and Edgewood Avenue, on Venus Street, from North Street to Melrose Street and on Westwood Avenue, between North Road and Kernick Avenue.

Meanwhile, the race organisers have made the following parking areas close to the Wanderers Sporting Club available to the runners. Participants are encouraged to arrive at the parking areas early.

For R50 per vehicle there will be parking at;

• Wanderers Club Rugby Fields (Corlett Drive)
• Wanderers Golf Club (Rudd Road)
• Fairway Primary School (Fort Street)

Please note that since the above parking areas are on the race route, access will only be allowed from 05h00 – 07h00.

Other suggested parking includes;

• James and Ethel Gray Park (Edgewood Avenue)
• Blue Bird Shopping Centre (Athol Oaklands Road)
• Melrose Arch (Athol Oaklands Road)


MPHO MAKHOBA WINS TECHNICAL OFFICIAL GAUTENG SPORTS AWARDS TITLE FOR SECOND YEAR INROW

Pretoria, South Africa -For Attridgeville resident, Mpho Makhoba, winning the coveted 2016 Gauteng Sports Awards Technical Official of the year is a true honour.

Tennis South Africa CEO, Richard Glover (right) congratulates Mpho Makhoba n winning the 2016 Gauteng Sports Awards Technical official of the year title.

Mpho Makhoba of Attridgeville, Pretoria the Assistant Officiating Manager at Tennis South Africa was announced winner of the 2016 Gauteng Sports Awards Technical Official of the year award.

Pictures Credit : BLD Communications


The softly spoken yet firm and decisive Makhoba, who is the Assistant Officiating Manager at Tennis South Africa (TSA), has certainly made her mark in tennis circles not only in the country but the continent.

Makhoba recently became the first African female to be awarded a silver officiating badge by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) as Chief Of Umpires.

“Its nice to know that people are noticing what you are doing and appreciate your work” said Makhoba. “Winning this award means a lot to me, it gives me the drive to want to do more and share the experience I have accumulated over the past years with other officials”.

“I love tennis with all my heart and to be able to help put tennis out there to the nation humbles me” added Makhoba.

The glamorous awards which were held at Tsogo Sun’s Silverstar Casino in Mogale City last Sunday evening were hosted by the Gauteng Department of Sport, Arts ,Culture and Recreation. The awards is a bid to reward the Province’s sports stars, technical officials and administrators for their efforts in keeping the passion of sport alive in the hearts of millions of South Africans through their efforts in local and international sports events. The main aim is to recognise and honour individuals and teams who have excelled both on and off the field on an annual basis which will culminate to the National Awards.

Makhoba was selected for the second year running for the award by the judges out of all the referees, umpires and technical official nominees, who through their sustainable high standards of officiating have rendered services at a national and international level.


SPAR PROTEAS STEP UPGEAR

Durban, South Africa - After a lacklustre start, the SPAR Proteas stepped up a gear and beat the President’s XII comfortably, by 56 goals to 35, in their Diamond Challenge match at the University of Durban-Westville on Tuesday night.
With nothing to lose, the President’s XII got off to a terrific start, and were 12-10 ahead at the end of the first quarter. Coach Norma Plummer had strong words with her team during the break, and the Proteas came back strongly in the second quarter, drawing level in the first three minutes and extending their lead as the match went on. They were 26-20 ahead at halftime, and they just got better and better.
Erin Burger, playing her 91st game for South Africa, showed her class with some outstanding intercepts, and feisty goal attack Renske Stoltz combined well, first with her provincial teammate, Sigi Burger and then with Lenize Potgieter to keep the goals flowing. At the other end of the court, Phumza Mawena made life difficult for the President’s XII shooters, although Lindie Lombard had a good game.
Coach Norma Plummer said she had expected the President’s XII to start well, and she was pleased the Proteas had come back so strongly.
“It was a very good match,” she said.
“It was good to see how well the President’s XII played. There are players there who are knocking on the door and the Proteas are aware that they can’t be complacent.
“It is important to have a strong underpinning, so that if a player is injured, there is someone ready to take her place without skipping a beat,” said Plummer.
“The President’s XII have shown they are ready.”
Earlier, Zimbabwe, who are ranked 21st in the world, caused an upset when they beat Uganda, ranked eighth, 42-39. Zimbabwe went into the lead from the middle of the first quarter, and in the second quarter, outscored Uganda by 12 goals to seven to lead 23-17 at halftime. Their performance in the second quarter proved decisive, because Uganda won the third and fourth quarters, 11-9 and 11-10, but Zimbabwe’s six-goal cushion at halftime saw them through to victory.
The Zimbabwean captain Perpetua Siyachitema was once again outstanding at wing defence, as was player of the match Pauline Jani, the Zimbabwean goalshooter.
Their victory means Zimbabwe will play the SPAR Proteas in the final on Wednesday night. Although the President’s XII won more round robin matches, as an unranked team they are not allowed to play in the final of an official tournament.


STILL TIME TO ENTER THE SPAR WOMEN’S CHALLNGE

Johannesburg South Africa - Time is running out – it’s just days before the SPAR Women’s Challenge, Joburg’s most beautiful road race at the Wanderers Club in Illovo on Sunday – but if you haven’t entered yet, don’t despair.

(From left) SPAR Women’s Race Joburg patron Mel du Bois, Kass Naidoo, SPAR South Rands Marketing Director Martin Webb,SPAR Women’s Race Joburg patron Rene Kalmer,Lebo Phalula,Ruthendo Nyahora and Kristine Kalmer all dropping a pair for charity at the official Media launch of the SPAR Women’s Challenge Joburg 2016 held at the Southern Sun in Hyde Park in Johannesburg.

Photo Credit : Reg Caldecott


Late entries will be accepted at registration at the Wanderers from Thursday to Saturday 09h00 to 16h00.
Join more than 12 000 women who will be having a fabulous day on Sunday, weaving their way through the leafy suburbs of Illovo, Melrose and Killarney.
The dynamic girl group, Blackbyrd, will provide entertainment after the race. The SAMA-award winning Cape Town group will keep your fingers snapping and your toes tapping with their unique blend of pop and country music, singing songs of love and heartbreak. Most of their songs are written by lead singer Tarryn Lamb.
Their hits include “All for Me,” “I feel good today” and “From the bottom of my heart.”
The SPAR women’s Challenge offers a wonderful outing for the family, with a Kiddies Corner, where mothers can leave their youngsters in safe hands while taking part in the race.
Prizes galore are on offer, including a brand new Suzuki Montana motorcar and a week for four at the luxury Crystal Springs resort in Mpumalanga. Other prizes include SPAR vouchers worth R15 000.
You can help others at the same time. Proceeds from the race go to Reach for Recovery, a non-profit support group for women with breast cancer.
A new initiative at the SPAR race is the Drop off a Pair and Show you Care campaign. Many disadvantaged children cannot afford shoes and have to run barefoot. People taking part in the Challenge or the 5km Fun Run can drop off an old pair of shoes when they collect their race numbers. The style and size don’t’ matter, but it is important that the shoes are in good condition.
If you drop off a pair of shoes, you stand a chance of winning one of five pairs of New Balance running shoes, one of five R1000 SPAR vouchers or one of five hair vouchers from TANAZ in Sandton.
So what’s stopping you from taking part? If you are daunted by the prospect of running 10kms, remember that walkers are welcome. There is also a 5km Fun Run, where you can meet and greet thousands of women from the City of Gold.
So put on those shoes and get to the Wanderers Club on Sunday for a day of fun in the sun.


SPAR PROTEAS THUMP UGANDA 59-27 AT DIAMOND CHALLENGE

Durban, South Africa - The SPAR Proteas continued their winning ways in the netball Diamond Challenge at the University of Durban-Westville on Monday, when they thumped Uganda by a massive 59 goals to 27.

SPAR Proteas goal shooter Sigi Burger prepares to shoot at goal during SA Proteas 59-27 win against Uganda at the Diamond Challenge being played at the University Of Kwazulu Natal Westville on Monday 3 October 2016.

Photo Credit : Gerhard Duraan


Uganda started well and a mistake in the opening passage of play gave them the opportunity to score off South Africa’s first centre pass. They were two goals up before South Africa scored their first, and maintained their slender lead for much of the first quarter, until the Proteas drew level and then passed them in the last two minutes to finish 12-8 ahead.
The Proteas took control of the match in the second quarter, and by halftime were leading 24-15. Uganda managed only five goals in the third quarter and seven in the final, in reply to South Africa’s 17 and 18 goals. Goalshooter Lenize Potgieter and goal attack and player of the match Renske Stoltz were both on song, with Stoltz in particular netting the ball from all areas in the circle. SigiBurger came on in the final quarter, and maintained the high success rate.
Erin Burger and captain Bongi Msomi were both outstanding, keeping the ball moving in the right direction and intercepting frequent passes.
It was a very physical match, with players crashing to the floor on several occasions. Tempers flared at times, but the umpires kept matters under control.
“We knew it was going to be very physical and frustrating,” said Msomi.
“But I like the fact that as a team we can look at each other and get strength from one another. We weren’t really worried about them getting ahead of us, because we knew we could always come back. We have a lot of trust in the team and that keeps us going when things start getting tough.”
The last time the two teams met was in the World Cup in Sydney last year, where South Africa won by 50 goals to 40.

In Tuesday’s matches, Uganda play Zimbabwe, and the Proteas take on the President’s XII.


THE RACE IS ON FOR THE SPAR GRAND PRIX TITLE

Johanesburg, South Africa - The race for the SPAR Grand Prix title is going down to the wire – the winner will be determined by the outcome of the SPAR Women’s 10km Challenge at the Wanderers in Johannesburg on Sunday.

Current leader of the SPAR Grand Prix Irvette Van Zyl at another SPAR Women’s Race victory in Durban held on the 5th June 2016.

Picture Credit : Reg Caldecott


The top contenders for the title are Irvette van Zyl and last year’s winner, Lebogang Phalula. Van Zyl has had a long lay-off for injury and Phalula has been very active in recent weeks and may feel the effects in her legs.
Van Zyl has 70 points, after winning the first three races, in Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Durban. Her record time in Durban earned her 10 valuable bonus points, which proved important when she had to withdraw from the Pretoria race because of a foot injury.
Phalula has 64 points, after finishing third, second, 11th and four in the first four races. She won the Johannesburg Challenge last year to cement her 2015 Grand Prix title.
Van Zyl said she started training again about three weeks ago.
“I’m not where I would like to be, but at least I am running pain free,” she said.
“I’m going to give it my all on Sunday. I really want to win the Grand Prix to make up for my disappointment in having to withdraw from the Olympic Marathon in Rio because of my foot injury.
“I need to finish in the top five and hope that Lebogang doesn’t get a bonus point. Then I think I am safe,” said Van Zyl, who won the Grand Prix title in 2010 and 2011.
Phalula ran her debut marathon in September, when she finished third in the Cape Town marathon, in a time of two hours 38 minutes. Last week, she won the Joburg 10km City Run. Her twin sister, Diana-Lebo, finished second, but collapsed on the finish line and had to be taken to the medical tent for treatment.
Diana-Lebo Phalula said they were both feeling fine and were ready for the contest on Sunday.
“I collapsed because I didn’t eat anything before the race. I am better now and I won’t make that mistake again,” she said.
“Lebogang and I are both ready to do well on Sunday.”
Diana-Lebo is in fourth position on the Grand Prix ladder, with 55 points – three behind third-placed Christine Kalmer, who got married two weeks ago. Kalmer said at the launch of the Johannesburg race that she would be taking her running shoes on honeymoon.
“I don’t want to give up that place,” she said.
Kalmer’s third-place ranking is testimony to the value of running as many Challenge races as possible. She finished fifth, eighth, sixth and seventh in the previous races, but her constant presence in the top 10 has proved invaluable.
Diana-Lebo was unavailable for the Cape Town race because she was doing national duty in China. She finished third, third and second in Port Elizabeth, Durban and Pretoria.
Rutendo Nyahora won the Pretoria Challenge last month and could play an important role in deciding who wins the Grand Prix title. However, as a Zimbabwean citizen, she does not qualify for Grand Prix points, as the Grand Prix is restricted to South African citizens.


THONGOANA WANTS TO BREAK JINX

Stellenbosch, South Africa; The two top seeds in the boys’ draw – Richard Thongoana and Joshua Howard-Tripp – will face each other in Saturday’s Curro Junior ITF 2 final played in Stellenbosch.

South Africa’s Richard Thongoana, won through to Saturday’s final of the boys singles of the Curro ITF 2 junior international tennis tournament being played at the Stellenbosch University. Thongoana battled against his fellow countryman Bertus Kruger seeded three 0-6 6-1 6-1 to advance to the final. Top seed, Thongoana, will now face 2nd seeded compatriot Joshua Hpward-Tripp in Saturday’s final.

Adrienn Nagy of Mauritius, continued her winning streak on Friday at the Curro ITF 2 junior international tennis tournament being played at the Stellenbosch University. Nagy ended the fine run of France’s Diane Parry, unseeded, winning 7-5 6-3. In Saturday’s final Nagy will come up against unseeded Holly Fischer of Great Britain.
Picture Credit: Outsider Communications


Number one Thongoana had a three set battle against third seed Bertus Kruger, who won both 2015 Curro Junior ITF tournaments. Kruger won the first set 6-0, but Thongoana broke Kruger’s serve immediately in the second set and from there the top seed took charge of the battle. The score of 0-6, 6-1 and 6-2 looks easy, but almost each game had breakpoints and Kruger did have his chances. In the end Thongoana held his nerve and won the match for a place in the final against last week’s champion and second seed Howard-Tripp. If Thongoana manages to win he will be the first top seed to win the Curro Junior ITF tournament in the past few years.
Howard-Tripp was on the verge of losing the first set against Dutchman Ien Schouten, but broke the fourth seed’s serve to fight back and in the end he won the match 7-5, 6-2. After losing his serve the Dutchman struggled to focus again and battled just as much with himself as with Howard-Tripp, who was merciless on attack.
The final between the top seeds should be a cracker.
The girls’ final will once again be an all international affair and a repeat from last week’s final with fifth seed Adrienn Nagy facing unseeded Holy Fischer. Hungary’s Nagy beat unseeded French player Diane Parry 7-5, 6-3 to book her place in the final two. Fischer, who won last week’s tournament, beat the only South African left in the draw, fourth seed Maxine Bateman 6-1, 6-4.
Both singles and doubles’ finals will be played on Saturday. Action starts at 09:00.


THONGOANA AND NAGY CHAMPIONS OF CURRO ITF 2

Stellenbosch, South Africa - Top seed Richard Thongoana won the Curro Junior ITF 2 tennis tournament played in Stellenbosch.

Adrienn Nagy of Mauritius, continued her winning streak on Saturday at the Curro ITF 2 junior international tennis tournament being played at the Stellenbosch University. Nagy battled against unseeded Holly Fischer of Great Britain.

First seed Richard Thongoana of South Africa won the boys singles title of the Curro ITF 2 junior international tennis tournament played at the Stellenbosch University.

Picture Credit: Eunice Visagie


Thongoana battled against last week champion and second seed Joshau Howard-Tripp. As expected it was a fierce battle. Thongoana won 7-6, 6-1. It was like the wind was out of Howard-Tripp’s sails after losing the first set, because he had in chances throughout. Thongoana held his nerve in the tight tiebreak and after that it was like he was in cruise control to victory.
“Obviously it was a good win. I really wanted the win because of the intense – and enjoyable - rivalry I have with Josh. He won our last meeting so I really pushed hard for the win today,” said Thongoana. “After losing in the semi-final last week I just said to myself to put it behind me and focus on the next challenge. I obviously wanted to do better, but I did not see the tournament as a failure. I had the best time the past two weeks. I love Stellenbosch and staying at the Stellenbosch Academy of Sport was a great experience. These tournaments have amazing people and a special vibe.”
Adrienn Nagy brought an end to the British domination by beating unseeded Brit and last week’s champion, Holly Fischer 6-4, 6-4 in the girls’ final. It is the first tournament since 2014 that a non-Brit has won the girls’ single’s title. But it is still four tournaments since a South African has won the tournament. Nagy from Hungary was seeded fourth and unlike last week she took control of proceedings with the way she played. Both players conceded their serve on numerous times, but the difference in the end was that Nagy held out on the big points. Her first match point she thought she hit a winner, but it was called out. After a few groans she went back and served an ace for the win.

Ends


ENTER THE CHALLENGE AND YOU COULD WIN A FABULOUS PRIZE

Johannesburg, South Africa - There is great news for those who have not yet entered the SPAR Women’s 10km Challenge or 5km Fun Run at the Wanderers Club on Sunday October 9.

Girl Group Blackbyrd will be the entertainment at the SPAR Women’s Race Joburg 2016 held at the Wanderers Sporting Club in Illovo Johannesburg on Sunday the 9th October 2016.


The organisers have extended the deadline for online entries to midnight on Sunday October 2, to make it easier for those who still want to enter.
As always, there are wonderful prizes on offer at the SPAR Challenge. The biggest prize is a brand new Suzuki Montana motorcar. The winner of this prize must be over 18 and have a valid driver’s licence.
A new, and very desirable prize, is a week’s holiday for four at the luxurious Crystal Springs resort in Mpumalanga. Crystal Springs is in a nature reserve at the top of Robbers Pass on the road to the historic village of Pilgrim’s Rest and is an ideal place for a family breakaway. All the well-equipped units are self-catering but there is also an excellent restaurant. The prize, worth R23 000, includes one game drive per person, as well as one dinner and one breakfast voucher per person.
There will also be a lucky draw for a prize of SPAR vouchers worth R15 000.
To win one of the prizes, you have to be at the prize-giving after the race. But what is even more important is that you have to have entered the race to be eligible for a prize. You have until midnight on Sunday to enter online, but entries will also be accepted at registration at the Wanderers Club on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday next week.
All entrants will receive a free race t-shirt and a goodie bag, and there are medals for everyone who finishes either the 10km Challenge or the 5km Fun Run.
Dynamic girl group, Blackbyrd, will provide the entertainment. There is a kiddies area, where children will be cared for while Mom runs the race, so enter the race and make the most of a day out at the SPAR Challenge.

ends


RAVEN KLAASEN WINS IN CHINA WITH PARTNER RAJEEV RAM

(Left) Raven Klaasen of South Africa taking a selfie with his doubles partner, (Right) American Rajeev Ram after winning the Chengdu Open Doubles title on Sunday played at Chengdu, China.

(Left) Raven Klaasen of South Africa with his doubles partner, (Right) American Rajeev Ram after winning the Chengdu Open Doubles title on Sunday played at Chengdu, China.

Picture Credit: ATP World Tour

Chengdu, China; South Africa’s Raven Klaasen and American Rajeev Ram boosted their chances of qualifying for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals as they captured their second ATP World Tour team title with a 7-6(2), 7-5 victory over Pablo Carreno Busta and Mariusz Fyrstenberg on Sunday in the final of the Chengdu Open.
“This week we came with a goal in mind to improve our performance after the US Open,” said Ram. “We felt like we didn’t play as well as we could have there. We got through this whole tournament without losing a set. I think it’s a really good step in the right direction for us to finish of the season.”
The South African/American duo is currently seventh in the Emirates ATP Doubles Race To London and bidding to qualify for the prestigious season finale for the first time. The Top 8 teams at the end of the regular season will make up the elite field.
Klaasen and Ram joined forces this season and made an instant impact, reaching the semi-finals in Chennai and the quarter-finals at the Australian Open. They were runners-up in Miami, Geneva and ‘s-Hertogenbosch before capturing their first title together in Halle (d. Kubot/Peya). A giant-killing run at Wimbledon then saw them defeat Ivan Dodig/Marcelo Melo and Bob Bryan/Mike Bryan to reach the semi-finals (l. to Benneteau/Roger-Vasselin).
After their semi-final win, Klaasen and Ram spoke of wanting to improve their finals record and the top seeds this week did not drop a set en route to the title. They were denied three set points in the 12th game of the first set before sealing the opener in a tie-break. Breaks were exchanged midway through the second set before Klaasen/Ram broke decisively in the 11th game and served out victory to love after 89 minutes.
“It’s their first time together but we know them pretty well individually,” said Klaasen. “Carreno Busta is obviously playing some very good tennis at the moment. We were just talking about it. When he hits the ball, it’s coming very hard. They combine really well as a left and right combination. We really had to play some good stuff out there to get the win. Pretty pleased with our performance.”
The 33-year-old Klaasen captured his 11th ATP World Tour doubles title, while Ram lifted his 10th trophy. Carreno Busta and Fyrstenberg were seeking their first doubles title together.

RESULTS - SUNDAY, 2 OCTOBER 2016
Doubles - Final
[1] R. Klaasen (RSA) / R. Ram (USA) d [4] P. Carreno Busta (ESP) / M. Fyrstenberg (POL) 76(2) 75
Ram
“This week we came with a goal in mind to improve our performance after the US Open. We felt like we didn’t play as well as we could have there. We got through this whole tournament without losing a set. I think it’s a really good step in the right direction for us to finish of the season.”
Klaasen
“It’s their first time together but we know them pretty well individually. Carreno Busta is obviously playing some very good tennis at the moment. We were just talking about it. When he hits the ball, it’s coming very hard. They combine really well as a left and right combination. We really had to play some good stuff out there to get the win. Pretty pleased with our performance.”


SPAR PROTEAS OFF TO A GOOD START IN DIAMOND CHALLENGE

Durban, South Africa - Defending champions South Africa got off to the best possible start in the netball Diamond Challenge at the University of Durban Westville on Sunday, with an emphatic 70-35 trouncing of Zimbabwe.
The SPAR Proteas were in control throughout the game, despite some spirited play by Zimbabwe. They were 20-7 ahead after the first quarter, and led 37-20 at halftime.
Zimbabwe had their best results in the third quarter, which South Africa won by only three goals, but the Zimbabweans’ lack of international experience was obvious.
The South Africa defence was outstanding, with Phumza Maweni and Karla Mostert making life hard for the Zimbabweans in their circle. Maweni achieved some outrageous intercepts and earned the player of the match award for her efforts.
Coach Norma Plummer rang the changes, using all members of the squad, apart from Vanes-Mari du Toit, who had a slight injury. She tried a number of combinations and played some of the team out of their usual positions. One of these was goalshooter Lenize Potgieter, who played goal attack in the last quarter, and seemed to relish the greater freedom of movement.
“I have told them they all need to be able to play in at least two positions, so that we have greater flexibility,” said Plummer.
“We don’t want to be one-dimensional.”
She said she was happy with the Proteas’ performance, although there were still areas where they needed to improve.
“They still need to let the ball go quicker, and they missed some sitters, but they are getting better all the time,” she said.
She said Zimbabwe suffered from the lack of international exposure, but she thought they would get better as the tournament continued.
“They have some very good players and it is just lack of experience,” she said.
The Zimbabwean captain, Perpetua Siyachitema impressed at wing attack and goalshooter Pauline Jani, sporting long braids in her national colours, had a good game when she could get past Maweni and Mostert.
Earlier, the President’s XII beat Uganda by 55 goals to 50. The South Africans started off well, and were three up before Uganda scored their first goal, but the East African team drew level midway through the quarter, forcing the South Africans to up their game.
The President’s XII led 16-13 after the first quarter, and at one stage were eight goals ahead. The She-Cranes pulled things back with a volley of unanswered goals, but were still five goals behind at halftime. (29-24)
It was in the final quarter that the Ugandans came back strongly, and at one stage they were only one goal behind. They won the quarter by 15 goals to 13, but it was too little, too late.
Their goal attack and captain, Irene Erayu, was outstanding, achieving some brilliant intercepts and shooting accurately. At the other end of the court, Lindie Lombard, who was named player of the match, also had a very good game and goalshooter Ine-Marie Venter grew in confidence throughout the match, shooting from the edge of the circle and making good use of the ball when it was in her circle. Although the She-Cranes threatened, the President’s XII stood firm, and finished the match with a five goal victory.
On Monday, the Proteas play Uganda at 6pm, and the President’s XII take on Zimbabwe at 8pm.

Ends

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