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Badilisha Lugha KISWAHILI

Row erupts over player`s selection

20th February 2013
John Njau

John Njau is the only Tanzanian tennis player representing the country at the 18 years and under Africa Junior Championship which is underway in Johannesburg.

The selection has raised eyebrows of domestic coaches who think the player is ineligible to represent the nation due to poor shows in previous events.
Initially, the country was to send three s players namely Tumaini Martin, Goodluck Shelemo and John Njau for the event on wild card entry, but surprisingly only Njau left the country on Monday for the championship. 
TTA secretary general Inger Njau declined to disclose the criteria deployed to select Njau for the championship, only to say that the association faced financial problems thus unable to send all the three players to the event.
“Only Njau is going for the championship, we wanted to send all the three players but we could not as we have failed to source money for their trip”, she said.
Njau also could not disclose the sponsor of  Njau to the event. 
However, this did not go down well with tennis coach Kiango Kipingu who questioned the logic of sending Njau to the event instead of Tumaini Martin or Goodluck Shelemo who edged Njau at recent local and international tennis tournaments.
“What I know is that three local players got wild cards to represent the country at the championship which started yesterday (on Monday) in South Africa, but surprisingly only Njau is representing the country. We can suggest that they have send Njau due to lack of money, but we ask why him while it would have been Tumain Martin or Goodluck Shelemo.
The tennis duo performed well at all local and international tournaments”, he said.
 Kipingu who was the national team coach at the East Africa ITF /CAT 14 and 16 & under which the country hosted recently, said the South African event would have been used as a preparation for Martin and Shelemo who will represent the country at the coming African Junior Championship (AJC) slated for Nairobi later this year.  
Njau will not represent the country at the AJC event as he failed to qualify at the ITF /CAT 14 and 16 events, Burundi won the tournament and Kenya came third overall.