By MICHAEL MIYOBA
THE Zambia Table Tennis Association (ZTTA) has hailed the men and women’s teams for scooping bronze medals at the ongoing Region 5 Games taking place at Botho University in Botswana.
The women’s table tennis team scooped bronze after overcoming Botswana in a thrilling and closely contested third and fourth match.
Team Zambia’s women’s team led by Latifa Nalavwe shocked the hosts 3-2 to settle for bronze and guarantee a top three finish in the team events.
“Congratulations to our women’s team for their exceptional performance and for bringing home the bronze medal! Your hard work, teamwork, and commitment to excellence have made a lasting impact on the table tennis stage,” ZTTA said.
Meanwhile, the men’s team collected bronze after securing a top four finish in the team events which were dominated by South Africa.
Team Zambia faced stiff competition from Botswana who dominated the third and fourth playoff which they won 3-1 to finish third.
The performances cheered ZTTA which applauded the players’ efforts, sportsmanship and the way they represented the country throughout the tournament’s team events.
“The ZTTA extends its heartfelt congratulations to each member of the men’s team for their exceptional performance and for bringing home the bronze medal. Their success is a testament to their hard work, discipline, and unwavering focus on achieving their goals,” ZTTA said in a statement.
“The ZTTA remains committed to the continued growth and development of table tennis in Zambia. With a renewed sense of determination, we look forward to further success and continued excellence in future tournaments,” ZTTA said.
After impressing in the team events, Team Zambia will now focus on scooping medals in the remaining singles events.
David de Gea set to become a free agent
MANCHESTER United goalkeeper David de Gea’s contract is likely to end with no decision yet over whether he will remain at Old Trafford.
It is understood the framework of a contract extension that had been agreed was subsequently changed.
This has led to both sides stepping back to reflect on the situation and preferred direction.
The Spain goalkeeper, 32, has spent 12 years at the club, where he has played in 545 games.
United remain in contact with De Gea, whose response to the huge amount of speculation around his future was to post a yawning emoji on Twitter earlier this week.
Last season, the four-time United player of the year won the Premier League Golden Glove for the second time as he kept 17 clean sheets.
Both De Gea and manager Erik ten Hag spoke confidently at the end of last season about the player staying at the club.
He could still sign a contract but from today, the Spaniard can sign for any other club, having been free to agree pre-contract terms with overseas suitors in January.
United have been wanting De Gea to take a substantial pay cut from the record £375, 000-per-week deal he signed in 2019.
Even at a reduced level, De Gea’s contract would still put him in the top range of goalkeepers and it is difficult to see him matching those terms elsewhere.
However, if he does opt to leave the club after 12 seasons, during which time he has won five major honours, a record four club player-of-the-year awards and is the last remaining player to have won a Premier League title at United, it will create a problem for Ten Hag.
It is understood tentative discussions have taken place with Inter Milan’s highly-rated Cameroon goalkeeper Andre Onana. However, Ten Hag is operating on a limited budget and, after reaching an agreement to sign Mason Mount from Chelsea for £55m and with United also targeting a centre-forward, they would need to sell before making a move for 27-year-old Onana.
United have triggered a one-year option for veteran keeper Tom Heaton, who is attracting interest from Luton, while Dean Henderson has returned to the club to recover from the thigh injury he sustained during his loan spell with Nottingham Forest in January. – BBC.
By MICHAEL MIYOBA