Tanzania National Wheelchair Tennis Team
Tanzania national wheelchair tennis team finished third overall in the African leg of qualifiers for the World tourney staged in Nairobi over the weekend.
The team’s performance has been described by the Tanzania Paralympics Committee (TPC) chairman, Johnson Jansen, as highly impressive.
Jansen says the players deserve a pat on the back after the brilliant show to keep the Tanzanian flag high in Nairobi.
Basing on the performance, the team stands a chance to compete in this year’s edition of World Cup team event to be staged in Istanbul later in May.
The team is likely to compete in the event through a solidarity ticket by the event’s organisers.
Nine African countries competed in the Nairobi qualifiers as Nigeria emerged overall winner and qualified for the Turkey games.
Egypt was second and the country stand a better chance of getting the wild card to compete at the games.
In a telephone interview, Jansen said Tanzania team made of Yohana Mwila, Tomas Kihiyo and Novatus Emmanuel for men and Rehema Seleman and Bihawa Mustapha for ladies team returned safely yesterday.
He said Olympian Novatus Emmanuel was on top in singles as he managed to beat his opponents from Kenya, Gambia and Egypt
He said Tanzania should be proud of the team because the World Team Cup is the wheelchair tennis equivalent to Davis and Federation Cup.
“I had no doubt that we were going to perform well at the event. Remember it was our maiden appearance at the high-profile stage. I believed in my team even though other countries have improved tremendously. Our performance was impressive despite the challenges we have in terms of equipment and financial support,” he said.
He said the only big public support was attained from Kinondoni District mayor Yusufu Mwenda who donated 400,000/=.
He said the donation was not sufficient though they still appreciate it and they had to make to do with what they had in hand.