Southern African Games closes in Zambia in spectacular fashionSouce:Xinhua Publish By Dustin Updated 18/12/2012 4:10 am in Sport / no comments
LUSAKA, Dec. 17 — After 14 days of serious competition in various sporting disciplines, the fifth edition of the Supreme Council for Sport in Africa (SCSA) Zone Six Under-20 Games came to a spectacular close on Sunday evening in the Zambian capital Lusaka, with firework displays at Nkoloma Stadium.
The games, which had kept the Zambian capital busy, came to a halt with the dousing of the games’ flame and the handing over of the flag to Zimbabwe who will host the event in 2014.
The closing ceremony, which was beamed live on state television was characterized by traditional dances from various parts of Zambia and pomp as the athletes paraded themselves in the stadium.
The closing ceremony was preceded by a soccer match between the Zambia Under-17 and their South African counterparts in the finals.
The South Africans managed to mint gold after scoring two spectacular goals while the Zambians settled for a silver.
Zambia’s Minister of Sports Chishimba Kambwili said during the closing ceremony that the last 14 days had been eventful as the athletes from 12 southern African nations demonstrated their immense talents in various sporting disciplines.
He said the staging of the game has built confidence in Zambia which will now vie to host bigger events such as the Africa Cup of Nations and the All Africa Games.
The country failed to host the Africa Cup in 1988 and the 2011 All Africa Games.
Chairman of the Local Organizing Committee Esau Nebwe said hosting of the games had been a challenge but commended his team for their resilience.
He said the games exposed the immense talent among the youths in the region but urged countries to invest more in youth sports so that the region can do well at international events.
South Africa emerged overall winners of the 2012 Games by hauling 132 medals which included 67 gold, 46 silver and 19 bronze while Namibia came second with 65 medals which included 13 gold, 18 silver and 34 bronze.
Hosts Zambia came third with 41 medals which comprised 12 gold, nine silver and 20 bronze while Mozambique came fourth with 26 medals comprising 10 gold, eight silver and bronze respectively.
Of all the 12 participating countries, only Mauritius and Seychelles failed to reap any medal.