By Mthokozisi Dube
Zimbabwe had a faulty start to the 2022 senior championship squash tournament after suffering two successive defeats to world champions Egypt in Bulawayo this Saturday.
The Zimbabweans had a promising start to the competition, beating Rwanda in two matches by top seed Malvin Mubure and second seed Ryan Kudzima.
The most capped Mubure, who has shined in various tournaments, recorded a 3-0 whitewash, while second seed Kudzima posted a 3-1 victory.
All the bright promising start went off rails after the two were handed painful defeats by Egypt’s top and second seed.
The two Zimbabweans were handed 3-0 defeats ahead of their next assignments to Nigeria and South Africa.
Despite the defeat, Mubure is optimistic the pair will bounce back stronger having taken lessons from Egypt’s style of play.
“It was a 50-50 match. In most of the games I was leading by 3 or 4 points, but I started making unforced mistakes. I am however worried by my level of fitness,” said Mabure.
Egyptian coach Mohamed Elkeiy who stood in for Egypt’s top seed said the victory is a sign they mean business in scooping gold at the 14-nations tournament.
“It was a good game. Competition was stiff and I, as coach standing for my player who is yet to arrive, had to use the experience to bury the game.”
The victory by the Egyptians is no fluke as the world champions’ solid structure boasts of a wider pool of more than 4 000 professional squash players, with their smallest tournament attracting more than a thousand players.
The Zimbabwean ladies’ team also suffered a 3-0 defeat to neighbours South Africa.