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Badilisha Lugha KISWAHILI

Tennis juniors wobble, hobble

13th April 2012

Tanzania junior tennis representatives in the African Junior Championship (AJC) currently going on in Cairo are performing poorly as admitted by their coach Hassan Kasim.

The coach says the dismal show has been attributed mainly due to lack of adequate preparations ahead of the event.

The coach was responding to a telephone interview directly from Cairo where the team is based for the continental event.

The Tanzanian coach said the players failed to synchronies between themselves, particularly when they were paired to play the doubles and mixed doubles events.

He says the pairs has not trained together and were just collected to team up during the tournament which has resulted in miscommunications.

Under normal circumstances players who pair in doubles are supposed to train together for a minimum of two days, but the country players never passed through this formality before boarding the flight to Cairo as confirmed by the coach.

The AJC tournament is taking place at the Al Solaimaneyah Golf Resort & SPA in Cairo and Tumaini Martin is the only local player to have reached the second round in singles, after winning against Yousef Abdel from Tunisia by 4-0, 4-1 sets.

In the doubles there has been poor show as Tumaini Marti and Emanuel Mallya playing against Togolese duo of Antoine Gbadoe and Yacubu Maga lost 3-7, 4-6 sets.

Another boys double saw John Njau of Tanzania pairing with Rwandan Oliver Havigumana against Republic of South Africa Loyd Harris and Robert Albert to crash out by 0-6, 3-6 sets.

In the girls double, Edina John partnered with Sudanese Rayan Abdelrahaman against Tunisians Aziza Berriri and Yosr Elimi to terribly lose by 0-6, 0-6.

“We did not practice well in doubles and I must confess that we were below the standard. Now we must focus on building the team by giving players adequatetraining and also organising some international tournaments,” said the coach.

The coach praised Martin for performing well at the tournament saying he has demonstrated his tenacious prowess in the event.

"What Martin is doing is itself explanatory. It shows that he is a gem and has been consistent. We are now assured that he will at least grab something from the tourney," he said.

The tournament offers competition in two age categories, 16 and 14-and-under, and has attracted entries from 61 boys and 57 girls from 27 nations across the continent.

Feed-in consolation events are organised so that players have the opportunity to play a singles match every day, giving the players vital competition in advance of their continent's most prestigious junior event.

Players qualified for Cairo through taking part in one of three zonal championships which took place in January and February in West and Central, Southern and East Africa.

Both events are being hosted by the Egyptian Tennis Federation in collaboration with the International Tennis Federation and the Confederation of African Tennis (CAT).

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