AN odd pair of junior players Njavwa Sichamba and his coach Fred Chishimba over the weekend won the Nkana Squash Club doubles tournament to pick up the K500,000 cash prize after a tight final.
Chishimba is Sichamba's coach at Nkana Squash Club and the pair won the doubles event that required each of the top eight seeded players picking partners from outside the top octet and play in a round robin basis.
Seeded Five and desperate to impress following fellow junior player Frank Wabo who moved into the limelight after winning the Bell Nkana Invitation Squash championship two weeks ago, Sichamba's picking of Chishimba looked strange but the two defied the odds to go on and claim the winners' honours.
The Sichamba-Chishimba twosome defeated a pair of national women's champion Sharon Chimfwembe and Mitchell Mwanza 3-2 in a highly exciting match that perfectly befitted a final after a long day of squash.
Sichamba and Chishimba rallied from 2-0 down to a 3-2 win to become champions with set scores of 9-11, 11-13, 11-9, 11-6, 11-5 and cap a fine tournament with a perfect final.
For their effort of reaching the final, the Chimfwembe and Mwanza walked home with K300, 000 from sponsors Muchachi Enterprises of Kitwe.
To reach the final, the two pairs easily swept away their opponents coming off the identical 3-0 wins to set up a match that sapped all four players of energies.
The Sichamba-Chishimba team defeated tournament favourites Frank Wabo and Dave Simpemba 3-0 (11-7, 11-9, 11-3) while the runners-up of Chimfwembe and Mwanza saw off Tendai Boti and Mwewa Kapata with another 3-0 score with set scores of 11-9, 12-10, 11-8.
Third place finishers Boti and Kapata walked away with K200, 000 with fourth finishers Waba and Simpemba getting K100, 000.
And speaking on behalf of the sponsors, Hector Mwansa was happy with the levels of game exhibited and for that reason, Muchachi Enterprises assured the club of continued support to not just the club but the sport in general.
"We shall be here to sponsor an even bigger doubles tournament next year and hopefully representation can be from all clubs across the country. To the winners, congratulations, and to others don't give up but work even harder so you may one day be on the winners' podium," Mwansa said.
Nkana Squash Club secretary Mwewa Kapata hailed the players for putting up their all and making the day of squash exciting.
"I would like to also thank the sponsors Muchachi Enterprises for being an all-weather partner in helping to raise the game especially at Nkana Squash Club," he said.