Rwanda junior tennis stars are looking to excel at this year’s ITF/ CAT East African Junior Championship which kicked-off on Wednesday in Nairobi, Kenya. The tournament features players from Burundi, Chad, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Seychelles, Tanzania and hosts Kenya. At stake is Single trophies and medals in the under 14 and 16 events for both the girls and boys categories.
Eight national junior tennis players including four girls and four boys, aged between 14-16 years, left the country on Tuesday. The winner in the different categories will qualify for the African Junior Championships which will be held in South Africa later in the year.
Joseph Cyiza will compete in the Under-14 boys’ category while Belyse Irakoze and Jasmine Uwamwezi will challenge for the U-14 girls’ title.
Bertin Karenzi, Emmanuel Ishimwe as well as Clenia Niyonshima and Grace Gisubizo are flying the national flag in the U-16 boys’ and girls’ groups respectively.
The junior team, under the guidance of head coach Hamadi Gatsinzi, has been in intensive training over the last two months.
Before the team’s departure to Nairobi, Gatsinzi told Times Sport that, “We selected the best team that has been under rigorous training since start of school holidays. They have played in the Butare junior circuit that was intended to select the best players.”
The 2017 ITF/ CAT East African Junior Championships will be played in a new format of round robins followed by play-off draws. The tournament will run till January 21.