National team wheelchair tennis player Yohana Mwila trains at the Kijitonyama venue to gear up for the South African Open tournament to be held in Johannesburg later in April.
Mwila says he has steeped up the preparations so that he can carry the country’s flag at the tournament which draws top wheelchair players from the continent and beyond.
“I’m indeed training at the Kijitonyama tennis grounds planning to compete at the open tournament in South Africa. Despite some shortfalls during my training, I hope to excel,” he said.
The tournament in South Africa is highly lucrative with the winner pocketing $2000, runners-up $1,800 and the third-placed player has to take home $1000.
Besides the cash prizes, the organisers have set aside some consolidation prizes to the rest of top ten finishers.
Mwila said he is confident of winning at least something from the tournament based on his superb performance at the just ended BNP Paribas World Team Cup Africa qualification held in South Africa.
His first singles game at the tournament when he beat Gambian Kujabi Saliou 6-1, 6-7 and 7-5. He lost his second game to Kenyan Caleb Odiyo 6-1, 6-0 before winning his last singles over Ghanaian Maclean Dzidzienyo 6-2, 6-2.
In the doubles category, Mwila partnered with Thomas Kihiyo and won over Ghanaians Emmanuel Boateng and Dzidzienyo 6-1, 6-2.
The duo won again over Gambia pair of Sanyang Ousman and Kujabi Saliou, 6-2, 6-3.
Their third win was over Egyptian pair of Hassan Mohamed and Aly Mohamed by 6-3, 7-5.
“I’m confident of doing well at the event and coach Hassan Kassim is working on my fitness, one of my weaknesses,” he said.