After a dreadful show at this year’s ITF/CAT East African money circuit, Rwanda’s junior tennis players have switched their focus to the forthcoming zonal tennis championship qualifiers that will be staged in Burundi.
The lucrative junior event is scheduled to run from January 6-12 in Burundi’s capital, Bujumbura.
Mele Bizimana will lead Rwanda’s campaign at the week-long tournament which is also expected to attract players from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, Sudan, Ethiopia, Libya, Djibouti, Seychelles and Eritrea amongst others.
Other local players gearing up for the contest include Fils Ntakirutimana, Hamisi Gatete, Papy Mwizerwa, Gisele Umumararungu and Cyiza Sirbawusi.
At last year’s qualifiers that were staged in Nairobi, Bizimana and Lyze Karenzi progressed to the zonal championships that were staged in Botswana.
However, the duo had a bad tournament when they failed to progress past the first round. Karenzi who turned 17 this year is ruled out of the qualifiers due to the championships’ age bracket.
“Karenzi won’t be part of the team traveling to Burundi because she doesn’t fit into the tournament’s age brackets. The event has two age brackets; U-14 and U-16,” Rwanda Tennis Federation’s technical director Thierry Ntwali said.
“The players are working hard at Cercle Sportif and I think we may have more players qualifying this time round,” he added.