1 January 2013

Zambia: Kelvin Wins Top-Eight Squash Championship

SOUTH Africa-based Zambian squash star Kelvin 'The Kelvinator' Njobvu again showed his class by cruising to an easy win during the Zambia Top-Eight Squash championship held at the weekend.

Going into the tournament as hot favourite, Njobvu upheld his top billing by winning the title and the K2 million cash prize coming with it after destroying Manda Chilambwe 3-0 in a lopsided final whose tempo only rose in the last set.

The 3-0 final win over Chilambwe meant that Njobvu took the 2012 year-ending championship without dropping a set in all three matches played.

Njobvu was so dominant that the 11-4, 11-2, 13-11 set scores in the final against Chilambwe was the biggest resistance he faced in the two-day event as he had earlier dispatched Enos Mwale with 11-4, 11-4, 11-3 score in the semi-final after beating Ngosa Musonda 11-5, 11-3, 11-0 in the quarters.

Njobvu's route to the title was made rather easier when second seed and fellow South Africa based Mwansa Chileshe was beaten in the semi-final stage by Chilambwe in an exciting four-set game with 11-7, 11-4, 9-11, 11-8 score.

Second-seed Chileshe was later beaten in the third place play off by Mwale to finish fourth.

To get to the semis, Chilambwe had similarly beaten Alfred Muma 3-1 in the quarter-final while Chileshe got a 3-0 win over Kafwimbi Nkole with Mwale defeating Frank Wabo 3-1 before been bundled out by Njobvu.

For his effort to finish second, Chilambwe received K1.4 million with third place finisher Mwale pocketing K1 million 000 and a K700, 000 going to Chileshe.

In the Plate event, for the losing quarter-finalist, Ngosa Musonda proved he could have gone far save for the semi-final defeat to Njobvu by winning the Plate title after defeating Kafwimbi Nkole 3-2 in an exciting final.

He received K450 000 and a K350 000 went to Nkole while Muma got K300 000 with Wabo, who retired through injury, getting K250, 000.

Zambia Squash Association (ZSA) president Norena Chitebe praised the players for turning up in numbers and making the tournament a success especially that Zambia was preparing for the All-Africa seniors' Challenge to be staged in Namibia next month.

"It's thanks to all the players, this tournament has been a huge success and we can only encourage you to train even harder. The sponsors as well have done a great job and we look forward to more cooperation with the private sector," she said.

This is the first tournament that the Chitebe led-executive committee is hosting after been voted into office three months ago in elections that swept away almost the entire previous executive.

ZSA fixtures secretary for South Jeff Musonda expressed excitement with the organisation of the tournament saying the fact that locally based players Chilambwe and Mwale defeated South Africa based Chileshe meant local squash was headed in the right direction.

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