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- Van Niekerk pays tribute to triumphant Bolt
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Young Davis Cup aces ready to mix it up in Mexico
- Updated: September 23, 2014
The South African Junior Davis Cup team have arrived safely in San Luis Potosi, Mexico to do battle in this week’s World Junior Davis Cup final.
The event starts on Tuesday and continues until Sunday.
South Africa will be represented by Damon Kesaris (KwaZulu-Natal), Richard Thongoane (Gauteng Central), Calvin Jordaan (Western Province) and coach Jared Temlett (KwaZulu-Natal). They join Egypt as the only African nations in the 16-team competition.
The other teams competing are, last year’s finalists Korea, hosts Mexico, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, Japan, USA, Estonia, France, Germany, Italy and Sweden.
The team took 30 hours to get to San Luis Potosi and scheduled practice sessions as soon as they arrived. ‘Our boys enjoyed two solid training sessions after the mammoth trip to Mexico,’ said Temlett.
The top 16 countries are drawn into four groups of four teams. There will be a round-robin competition within each group with the four group winners qualifying for a play-off on Friday and Saturday.
Said Kesaris: ‘I’m feeling healthy and confident. It’s always a huge honour representing the green and gold especially at such a prestigious tournament. We’ve had an intense four-day training camp in Durban before we left, which was really good as we trained hard and feel we are ready for what lies ahead. Junior Davis Cup competition is really tough, but the boys have big hearts and good attitudes which can only lead to success. We are glad to be in Mexico and can’t wait to start competing! Last year the South African boys came 10th which is really good, this year with a solid team and good coach we are striving to reach the top eight, that would be the ultimate.’
Added Thongoane, who was part of Team South Africa at the 2nd African Youth Games in Botswana in May this year: ‘I’m feeling ready and pumped up for this great and prestigious tournament. Training for me last week was fun yet very tough fun as I was competing with my teammates and close friends Calvin and Damon. The team is ready and all have big hearts to go and play with the best juniors in the world. Our goal is to try beat our 10th position place last year so we are hoping to be in the single digits zone this year.’
Jordaan wrapped up by saying ‘I’m extremely excited to be participating in such a prestigious event, especially under the circumstances of representing my own country, South Africa. Our team had an intense few days on the court preparing ourselves for the challenges that lie ahead of us. We are all confident and ready to compete.’
Pictured left to right are: Thongoane, Kesaris and Jordaan