WINDHOEK – The 17th edition of the School Olympiad of German Schools in Southern Africa was opened with a festive ceremony last Saturday at Deutsche Höhere Privatschule (DHPS) in Windhoek.
In the presence of the entire school community, teams of 300 athletes overall and teachers of the participating schools from Windhoek, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Pretoria, Hermannsburg and Accra – all marched into the auditorium in an exuberant atmosphere, captivated by a true Olympic spirit.
With the opening festivities underway, one stage highlight was followed by the next and cheering participants kept the atmosphere alive and jovial.
Also, the speeches by DHPS principal Kristin Eichholz, German Ambassador Schlaga, Swiss Honorary Consul Gamma and the head boys and girls of the participating schools reflected the Olympic ambition and the actual goal of the event, which is participating, having fun together and letting fairness and team spirit take center stage.
The camaraderie was evident at the swimming competitions that were held on the first day of the Sports Olympiad. Warm-up started early in the morning at 7am Saturday morning and swimmers were delighted with lukewarm water temperatures.
Soon thereafter, the 4x50 m relay started with four swimmers in a team for the back, breaststroke, dolphin and crawl events respectively.
Several records were broken on the day and records were as follows:
- Boys’ Competition Group I: Deutsche Schule Kapstadt (Cape Town) with a new best time of 2:21:56 minutes.
- Girls’ Competition Group I: Deutsche Schule Kapstadt (Cape Town) with a new best time of 2:20:38 minutes.
- Boys’ Competition Group III: Deutsche Schule (Johannesburg) with a new best time of 2:03:81 minutes.
Thereafter, the heats for the individual competitions started, in which swimmers competed in 50m freestyle, breaststroke, backstroke and dolphin. The last item on the morning schedule was the 12x50m relay. In this relay, each team took part with 12 swimmers, 4 swimmers from each age group.
The boys of the Deutsche Internationale Schule Johannesburg swam a new record of 5:59:99 minutes.
After a delicious lunch, it was time for the finals. Again, several records were broken.
The records of DHPS Windhoek: Tiana Esslinger of Competition Group II achieved a new best time in 50 m of 37.80. Matthias Lichtenberg, who started in Competition Group III, swam 50m freestyle and achieved a best time of 25.53 minutes, while he also broke the 50m dolphin record in 27.55 minutes.
Nicole Redecker in Competition Group I also broke two swimming records: 50 m breast stroke in 39.48 minutes and 50m dolphin in only 34.81 minutes.
The Cape Townians achieved the following bests: Liv Etzold in Competition Group II of Deutsche Schule Kapstadt swam 3 new records: In 50 m freestyle in Competition Group II with a new time of 28:38, while she swam the 50 m backstroke in 31.56 and broke the dolphin 50 m record in a new best time of 30.44.
Also, from Cape Town in Competition Group II: Nicolas Oosthuizen set three new records: 50m freestyle in a new time of 25:97 minutes, while he swam the 50m backstroke in 30.69 minutes and broke the dolphin 50m record in a new best time of 29.08 minutes.
The swimmers from Deutsche Internationale Schule Pretoria broke the following records: Corinna Meyer in Competition Group I achieved a best time in 50m freestyle in 30.07 minutes. In the girls’ Competition Group III, Janka Meyer broke the 50m backstroke in a time of 33.23 minutes. Tom Schulz in Competition Group II swam 50 m breast stroke in a new record time of 34.09 minutes.
The swimmers from Deutsche Internationale Schule Johannesburg broke three records: Philip Dresel in 50m breast in the boys’ Competition Group III in a best time of 34.82 minutes, while Sebastian Karnwischer swam the 50m back in the boys’ Competition Group III in a best time of 31.44 minutes. Philip Trummer in 50m breast in the boys’ Competition Group III broke the record in 31.60 minutes in an extraordinary atmosphere and great team spirit.