SOUTH Africa-based Mwinga Lengwe and ever-green Sharon Chimfwembe retained their Judge Lloyd Siame Ndola Open Squash championship titles after recording routine 3-0 victories during men's and women's finals respectively.
The tournament played on Sunday saw Lengwe crushing his arch rival Manda Chilambwe 3-0 in the finals to pocket K1.5 million same as Chimfwembe, who also cruised to a routine 3-0 victory over budding squash player, Monica Chimese to defend her title.
Lengwe, who earlier this year lost to Chilambwe during the Copperbelt Open Championship finals, blazed to the winners' podium after scoring 11-5, 11-8, 11-4 to pick the K2 million top prize.
On his way to the finals, Lengwe beat Enos Mwale 3-0 while Chilambwe edged out local favourite, Kafwimbi Nkole 3-1.
In an interview, Lengwe said he was happy to bag his second title since the inauguration of the tournament, named after the veteran sports administrator Lloyd Siame, three years ago.
Chimfwembe, despite staving off some early challenges from Chimese, faced little hurdles to dismantle the youthful Nkana Squash Club player 11-3, 11-7, 11-2 to claim the top prize.
Chimese, who knocked out a tough Chisenga Chisenga in the semi-finals, was rewarded K1 million. Chimfwembe, who has dominated the local sport for almost a decade now, beat Chembo Chisenga 3-0 for a place to the finals.
"Girls are getting closer. They have natural fitness unlike me who need to train hard. I am sure in the next two years if they work harder, we will have a new Zambian champion," Chimfwembe said.
And Siame thanked Ndola Squash Club and the entire squash fraternity for honouring him during his life time.
Ndola Squash Club chairperson, Humphrey Mutambo paid tribute to the sponsors, Marton Financial Services, Ultra Fashions, Agric-Crop Services, XL Chartered Accountants and Mangrove Services among others for supporting the event.
Mutambo said despite not meeting all the squash fraternity's aspirations, he was happy that the spirit of the sport still lingered on the courts.
He, however, took a swipe at players for spending too much time on beer drinking immediately after leaving the squash courts.
"There is a lot of beer drinking among the players. This is really disheartening. Immediately after elimination from the tournament, the players get intoxicated with beer," he said.
Marton Financial Services chief executive officer, Tonny Mwape said there was need for the private sector to come on board and support the growth of squash in Zambia.
Mwape said Zambia was one of the squash powerhouses in Africa but that the local sport lacked support.