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Senior women’s hockey team ready for ACN

The Herald

Ellina Mhlanga Senior Sports Reporter

THE Zimbabwe senior women’s field hockey team captain, Mary Houghton, says they are ready for their participation at the Africa Cup of Nations (ACN) that gets underway next week in Ghana.

The continental showpiece is running from January 17 to 23 with both men’s and women’s teams competing in Accra.

Zimbabwe are fielding the women’s team only. The team is scheduled to leave for Accra tomorrow ahead of the start of the competition.

The senior women’s side has been working together for some time, since the Tokyo Olympic Qualifiers that were held in Stellenbosch, South Africa, in August 2019.

Houghton said they are going for a podium finish at the tournament.

“We have been training probably for two years now since the Road to Tokyo, the Olympic qualifiers in Stellenbosch. Not much of the team has changed since then, five new people have come in. Our goal is to have a podium finish. So we are hoping to finish in the top three,” said Houghton.

Zimbabwe are in Pool A together with South Africa, Namibia and Uganda.

Zimbabwe get their campaign underway with a clash against South Africa on January 17. They then take on Uganda the following day and conclude their pool games against Namibia on January 19.

From the pool matches, there will be cross-pool play-offs and then the final games to determine the final rankings.

Houghton believes with a positive mind and not putting themselves under pressure, they can put up a good fight.

Pool B is made up of hosts Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and Zambia.

The men’s competition is featuring seven teams – South Africa, Kenya, Namibia, Egypt, Ghana, Nigeria and Uganda.

Pool A is made up of South Africa, Kenya and Namibia. Egypt, Ghana, Nigeria and Uganda make up Pool B.

Meanwhile, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) Hockey Women’s Junior World Cup, which was initially scheduled  to be played in December last year in South Africa, is now set to take place in April.

The tournament was put on hold due to the Omicron variant outbreak. However, the FIH this week announced the new dates for the event. It is scheduled to run from April 2 to 13. Zimbabwe will be among the participants at the tournament.

Zimbabwe Team for Africa Cup of Nations

Georgia Allardice, Amy-Lee Levey, Mary Houghton (C), Belinda Marais, Jordyn Clipstone, Jenna Mathieson (GK), Tinodiwanashe Elijah, Farirai Nengare, Nicolle Grant, Jenna Palmer, Simone Herbst, Lillian Pope, Natasha Hess, Alexei Terblanche, Iman Johnson, Natalie Terblanche, Kelly-Ann Kaulback, Michelle Williams.

Non-travelling: Victoria Janda (GK), Christina Kondos, Devon Turner, Rumbidzai Zimuto.

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