Africa Junior Championship (AJC) qualifiers
8th Burundi (B)
The national tennis federation (RTF) will not be very pleased with Rwanda’s performance at the Africa Junior championship qualifiers that climaxed on Saturday in the Burundian capital, Bujumbura.
Rwanda finished fifth out of nine countries after bagging three bronze medals in the six-day tournament.
Mele Bizimana was Rwanda’s top performer after finishing third in the U-16 boys’ category.
He also teamed up well with Fils Ntakirutimana to finish third in the U-16 doubles category.
Despite being one of Rwanda’s major hopes at the competition, Ntakirutimana was below par.
“He did not have a good tournament. Most of the time, he seemed to be struggling,” the team’s coach Thierry Ntwali stated.
In the U-14 category, Gisele Umumararungu stood out as the country’s main force. Having finished 7th in the singles category, she teamed up with Cyiza Sidhawusi to finish third earning Rwanda her third and final bronze.
With the home support and an experienced and talented team, Burundi finished as overwhelming champions while Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania finished second, third and fourth respectively.
Sudan and Uganda came sixth and seventh while Burundi’s second string side and Djibouti finished eighth and nine in that order.
Upon the team’s return yesterday, Ntwali said, “I’m quite disappointed with the performance but that’s tennis. We struggled in the singles category but fought hard in the doubles”.
“It was a tough tournament and apart from Bizimana and Ntakirutimana, the others were short of experience and it cost them,” he pointed out.