By GRACE CHAILE –
TWENTY players have been selected to represent Zambia in the qualifiers for the Africa Hockey 5s Youth Olympic billed for March 10 to 15 in Lusaka.
Zambia Hockey Association (ZHA) co-ordinator, Thomas Mumba said both the boys and girls’ teams, which are camped at the Olympic Youth Development Centre (OYDC) in Lusaka, consist 10 players each.
Mumba said the two teams were gearing up well and ready both physically and mentally for the tournament.
He said ZHA was positive that the selected players would put up a good performance and qualify for the Nanjing Youth Olympic Games.
Zambia will open the Africa Hockey 5s campaign on March 11 with the girls team facing South Africa while the boys team was supposed to have kicked off a day earlier against Nigeria but the West Africans have withdrawn from the competition.
The boys team has Samuel Tagwireyi, Shadrick Katele, Victor Mwansa, Samson Tembo, Bikilon Kumwenda, Blessings Lowole, Richard Lungu, Alfred Mphande, Brighton Siwale and Gift Bwalya.
In the girls team are Eniless Mambwe, Esther Mwale, Grace Banda, Margret Munthali, Comfort Phiri, Catherine Kalomo, Loveness Mudenda, Tionge Mwale, Martha Nankala and Carol Nankombe.
And Egypt and Nigeria have pulled out of the tournament which will now be contested by Kenya, South Africa, Zimbabwe and hosts Zambia.
“Egypt pulled out of the tournament due to civil strife while Nigeria’s reason is that they failed to raise the required funds,” Mumba said.
He added that the participating countries were expected to start arriving on Thursday with South Africa being the first at lunchtime.