By Sports Reporter
Zimbabwe will be represented by both the men and women’s national hockey teams at the African Games in Ghana next year after they both secured places by winning gold medals in the Central-South Africa Qualifiers, which ended in Harare Sunday.
Heading into their respective finals Sunday, both teams had already secured their places at next year’s African Games, but they went ahead to do it in style by clinching gold.
In the first final of the afternoon, the Zimbabwe women’s side continued their steady rise on the international hockey scene by edging Namibia 1-0 in a hard-fought final to be crowned the winners of the Central-South Africa Qualifying tournament.
The win meant the Zimbabwe women’s team, which early this year finished a creditable fourth at the Hockey Africa Cup of Nations in Ghana, completed the regional qualifying competition with an unblemished record.
They kicked off the competition with a 2-2 draw against Namibia last Thursday before thumping Malawi 11-0 in their second match two days later, before closing the competition on a high with a win against Namibia Sunday.
There was also gold medal success for the national men’s hockey after they scored a last-minute goal to secure a 3-2 win over their higher-ranked neighbours Zambia in the men’s final.
The win was sweet revenge for the Zimbabwe men’s team, who lost via a similar scoreline to Zambia in the group stages before bouncing back with a 6-1 win over Malawi to book their place in the final.