By SHAMAOMA MUSONDA –
CHOOLWE Hamalambo’s dominance continued as he retained his Under-18 title during the Zambia Table Tennis Association (ZTTA) national junior tournament held at the Olympics Youth Development Centre (OYDC) in Lusaka.
It was a weekend that saw top seeds keep bookmakers in business by winning their categories with Zaninge Kaira, Wisdom Nyirenda, Chanda Muma, Latifah Nalavwe and Janet Mwelwa among the other favourites that emerged victorious.
Hamalambo defeated Jeconial Lambe 3-1 with scores of 11-4, 11-3, 10-12, 11-8 in the finals. Lambe had in the semis beaten Elijah Mwale 2-1 with Hamalambo getting the better of Kaira with a 2-0 score.
Kaira then went on to vent his anger on opponents in the Under-14 category where he won the title after a 2-1 win over Charles Mutambo in the final. This was after Kaira and Mutambo recorded identical 2-0 wins over Abraham Tembo and Eddy Nyirenda respectively.
In the under-12 category, Nyirenda took a 2-0 win in the final over Fred Mwanza but this was after tight set score while Sydney Sakala relinquished his Under Eight title to Chanda Muma, who has been dominant but missed the last competition held on November 15.
In the girls’ category, Nalavwe defeated Mubanga Kunda in the Under-18 final taking 11-8, 12-10 score and this after an easy 2-0 semi-final win over Sheila Mwanza while Kunda defeated Ruth Mutailoni 2-0.
The Under-12 title went to Mwelwa who won the final in straight sets thumping Monica Mutale after both won their semi-finals with some tough scores.
Mwelwa overcame Martha Banda with 14-14, 14-12 scores while Mutale trounced Martha Mulenga with scores of 11-7, 12-10.
Also going away with a prize was nine-year-old Naomi Mwale, who after impressing in the Girls’ Under-12, was voted most-promising-player.
Meanwhile, the only odd at this Agogo’s and Bookworld sponsored tournament was that all pre-tournament favourites had to endure some tough battles in the final which left ZTTA patron Haroon Ghumra happy.