Sadili Oval Sports Academy’s upcoming Juniors Shebani Kabura (Bdi), Josephat Garo (Ken), Olivier Kigotho (Ken) and Sada Nahimana (Bdi), will today return following a three-week stint of continental tournaments, in which they showed stellar performance, at the ITF/CAT Junior Tennis Circuit that began in Bujumbura, Burundi and concluded today in Kigali, Rwanda.
In the First leg of the Boys 14 and Under, Olivier Kigotho beat Nzeyimana Karim (Bdi) 6/0 6/1, before losing to Alosha Chikanda (Zim) 2/6 4/6 in the pre-quarters. He then beat Sullemani Omari (Tan) 6/3 6/1 and Ibrahim Sadiki (Tan) 7/5 7/6 (4) to earn an honorable 11th place, the best position of any Kenyan in the tournament. Newcomer Josephat Garo (Ken) lost his first round match to experienced Hazikimana Mupenda 3/6 4/6, before rallying to beat Reuben Njuguna Kimani (Ken) to earn 18th place out of 36. Shebani Kabura (Bdi), beat Hakizimana Mupendwa (Bdi) 6/4 2/6 6/1, Rajabu Ntamba (Bdi) 3/6 6/4 6/4, and Shabani Kasalo (Bdi) 6/4 6/3 to reach the finals, losing to Erneste Habyambere 3/6 6/3 2/6 in a closely contested match, earning a final 2nd place out of 32 players.
In the First leg of the Girls 14 and Under, 10 year old Sada Nahimana beat Abigael Tate-Harte (Ken) 6/1 5/7 6/0, Prudence Theuri (Ken) 6/0 6/1, and Aisha Niyonkuru (Bdi) 6/2 6/3 topping group B and qualifying for the play-offs, where she trounced Oliva Tuyisenge (Rwa) 6/0 6/0 and finally losing in the finals to take second place against 14 year old Mariam Mujawimana (Bdi) 7/5 3/6 0/6. In the 2nd Leg of the Girls 14 and Under Nahimana, once again, dispensed confidently with all opposition before losing in the finals to Mariam, and earning second place. Her final leg in Rwanda, was her biggest test, and an exhausted but determined fight ensued, with Sada beating Oliva Tuyisenge (Rwa) 6/2 6/3, Alida Bella Mugisha (Bdi) 6/4 6/3, and July Nkatha (Ken) 6/1 6/3 in the group stages, she then beat Aisha Niyonkuru (Bdi) 6/0 3/6 6/1 in the semis, then lost, once again in the finals, to Mariam Mujawimana (Bdi) 3/6 3/6 to earn an overall second place in the tournament.
In the 2nd leg of the Boys 14 and Under, Olivier Kigotho dispensed with Billy Nkingi (Bdi) 61/ 6/2 to prepare for a marathon match against his team mate and second seeded Shebani Kabura, losing closely 6/7 (4) 1/6. He then rallied to beat Kimani (Ken) 6/0 6/4, before losing to Hakizimana Mupenda 4/6 2/6 to take 14th place out of 32 players. He later improved in confidence on the hot clay courts on Rwanda during the third and final leg, earning tenth place after beating Jonathan Giru Mugisha 6/1 6/2 and Sadick Ibrahim Shabani (Tan) 6/1 3/6 10/6. His team mate, Josephat Garo, also fought hard and long but was unable to dispense with Hakizimana, losing in three close sets 6/4 6/7 (4) 5/7, finally beating Abdoul Nzeyimana (Bdi) 6/0 6/0 to take position 21 out of 32 in the second tournament in Burundi. In Rwanda, Garo improved to 19th place. Shebani beat Alosha Chikanda (Zim) 6/4 6/3 in the quarters, losing closely to Shebani Kasalo (Bdi) 5/7 6/4 6/7 (2) in a well-fought semi-finals. He then beat Nicodemus Mallya (Tan) 6/3 6/1 to earn third place overall. He struck out in the final tournament in Rwanda to determined to improve his scores, dispensing with Tanzanians Sadick Ibrahim and Emmanuel Mallya 6/62 and 6/3 6/1, respectively, only to meet a retiring Shabani Kasalo in the semis, and walking into a tough final against Saidi Nkurunzinza 4/6 6/4 4/6 to take second place, and earn a big chance to the Masters Tournament scheduled for later this year.