Fencing twins raise SA flag

2018-03-01 06:01
Phumza and Phakama Yantolo are representing South Africa at the 8th African Fencing Championships in Lagos.

Phumza and Phakama Yantolo are representing South Africa at the 8th African Fencing Championships in Lagos.

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Twin Khayelitsha fencing stars jetted out of the country last night to participate in the eight Cadet African Fencing Championships taking place in Lagos, Nigeria.

Phumza and Phakama Yantolo are competing in the u-20 section.

Speaking before their departure on Wednesday evening, South African national team manager Patrick Collings said he was thrilled that the twins “were representing the country in a tournament of this nature”.

“They will be able to show their skills amongst the top fencers in the continent. There are Olympian fencers from Egypt and Tunisia so the Yantolo girls will have an opportunity to rub shoulders with creme de la creme of the game,” said Collings.

He said the twins were in high spirits and there were great hopes in the team generally.

Khayelitsha Multisport Club coach Jenny Blank O’Hanlon said she was very excited that the girls dedication was finally rewarded.

“They will be carrying the country’s flag and that of Khayelitsha with pride. I thank all the people who have been supportive in their development in the game,” said O’Hanlon.

She said the twins have qualified by way of the National Ranking System.

“The girls have been very active with Phakama being selected to represent SA in an international junior world championship in Bulgaria in 2017.

Both girls are Grade 12 learners at Kwamfundo High School and the schools really prides itself.

Meanwhile the African Fencing Confederration president Ndaiye Mbagnick welcomed the participants to this event.

“I want to welcome you to the 8th Junior /Cadet African Fencing Championships here in Lagos.

“This is an exciting period for African Fencing Confederation, as more emerging African countries are taking bolder steps to host FIE International Standard Competitions,” Mbagnick said.

He said it wasa also an equally interesting experience for the athletes traveling to other countries, exploring and learning about other African cultures.

“To the Nigerian Fencing Federation, this is a historic event for your federation and your country Nigeria, as it will be the first FIE International Tournament you will be hosting.

“I want to commend and thank the President of Nigerian Fencing Mr Adeyinka Samuel and your entire team for all the effort you have put in thus far,” he said.

He added that the Junior / Cadet African Fencing Championships is a significant tournament and process for the future World Class Fences that will emerge from the African continent.

“ I will like to encourage all African countries to participate and support the tournament. Over the years, we have seen Olympic Medalists, Olympians and World Class Fencers emerge from Africa, raising the standards of the African Fencing Championships,” he conclude.

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