NEW ERA | Monday, February 12 2018 Guardiola hails ‘legend’ Aguero after four-goal show Page 21 Excitement mounts for Harders Cup Page 23 SPORT Namibia bows out of W/Cup with heads held high …Germany dethrones Netherlands in final Carlos Kambaekwa Windhoek The Namibian senior women’s hockey team went into the Federation of International Hockey (FIH) Indoor Hockey World Cup in Germany’s capital Berlin as Africa’s sole representatives, carrying the underdogs’ tag. Yet the Namibian amateurs surprised friend and foe when they dispatched the much-fancied Unites States of America (USA) in an electrifying match, which saw them beat them 1-0 on penalty shootouts after a 5-all draw. Going into the global showpiece perched at lowly 74th place in the world rankings, nobody including local sports pundits ever gave the Namibians the slightest of chances to stamp their authority in the competition – let alone beat opponents ranked much higher than the tournament’s debutants. However, Erwin Handura’s charges were in mean mood and were just unfortunate to miss out on a quarterfinal berth after displaying exciting hockey that propelled the continent’s sole representatives to cheese off points Pride of the nation... Namibian senior women’s hockey team skipper Maggie Mengo in action. from global powerhouses pretournament favourites Australia and USA, in the group stages of the weeklong tourney. In their penultimate clash against the United States, the charged-up Namibians came back from the jaws of death to stun the Americans in the final match in the group stages, forcing their more fancied opponents to a 10-goal draw – leaving the contest to be Photo: FIH decided on the dreaded penalty shootout which Namibia won 1-0. In their fourth match, Namibia’s Kiana Cormack and Gillian Hermanus were very instrumental in Namibia’s astonishing hard fought 3-2 win over Ukraine in a closely contested encounter on Thursday - having already lost to Germany and playing a thrilling 10-goal (5-5) stalemate against Pool-B wooden spoon occupants Russia. Hermanus netted a brace for Namibia before Kiki’s short corner in the last minute led to a penalty stroke, which Gillian calmly converted with ease with almost the final touch of the game. Namibia started off sluggishly losing their opening match in the six-nation group B - going down 2-6 against the rampant Czech Republic. Namibia were eliminated after finishing 5th in the 5-team Pool B ahead of bottom-placed Russia and ended overall 9th place from the strong field of 12 participating nations – certainly a remarkable feat given insufficient preparations for an event of such magnitude, notwithstanding the serial scarcity of astro turfs on Namibian soil. Hosts Germany are the newly crowned FIH world champions after dispatching bitter rivals and defending champions Netherlands 2-1 in a nail-biting final yesterday. Records tumble at Rio Tinto Marathon Staff Reporter Swakopmund Zambian national Mathews Mutunya tumbled the old national record when he showed local competitors a clean pair of heels to clinch the annual Rio Tinto Rössing National Marathon in Swakopmund on Saturday. Namibian long distance runner Tomas Rainhold from the Namibian Defence Force (NDF) finished adrift in second place behind the runaway Zambian, clocking a time of 2-hours-17-minutes-and-3-5 seconds – almost 2 minutes shy of Mutunya’s recordbreaking time of 02:16:5-2. Anna Amutoko claimed top honours in the marathon ladies open category breaking the tape on 2-hours-53-minutes-4-5 seconds. The gathering, proudly sponsored by Rio Tinto Rössing Uranium in conjunction with the Swakop Striders Athletics Club, was staged at Namibia’s hunky coastal holiday resort Swakopmund in overcast, windless conditions starting at the Vineta sports fields before winding its way to the Henties Bay road. The 27th edition of the annual marathon national championship was themed ‘For the health of it!’ Overall winners in the marathon were the proud recipients of N, 000 in both the men and ladies’ open divisions. For the first time in the history of the event a half-marathon (21km) was added to the menu and was well received. The fastest runner in the men’s category of the half-marathon was veteran local middle distance athlete Mynhardt Kauanivi from Correctional Services in a time of 01:05:4-9. The first lady to cross the finishing line was Lavinia Haitope from NamPol in a time of 1:16:05. Haitope retained her title after winning the event last year. First across the line in the men’s 10km open race was Matheus Kadhingula in a time of 30:16, with Salmi Nduviteko finishing first in the ladies category in a time of 38:58. Approximately 285 walkers took part in the popular 5km fun walk in aid of the Cancer Association of Namibia (CAN). Great interest… The gathering attracted a record number of participants in both the marathon and 10km races while the newly introduced half-marathon attracted more than the number of expected entrants – bringing the overall total to just over 500 runners. (Right) Overall winners in the open category of the annual Rio Tinto Rössing National Marathon in Swakopmund, Tomas Rainhold and Anna Amutoko, display their prizes after the race in Swakopmund over the weekend.