Polite Mubure Dumps Second Seed Olantunyi Out Of Zimbabwe Open Squash Championship
POLITE Mubure recorded the biggest surprise on the opening day of the Safeguard Zimbabwe Open Squash Championship at Suburbs Squash Club in Bulawayo on Friday when she dumped second seed Busayo Olatunji 3-0 in the women’s section.
The 15-year old Mubure of Girls High School in Harare went into the tournament seeded seventh but proved too good for the 19-year old Olatunji who was the second best female in the tournament. Polite is the young sister of Ishmael and Yvonne Mubure.
In the semifinals to be played on Saturday, top seed Yemisi Olatunji of Nigeria is up against fourth seeded Sharon Chimfembwe of Zambia while the Mubure sisters clash in the other last four fixture.
In the men’s draw, there were no upsets with top seed Olanrewaju Abulrahaman of Nigeria, second seed Manda Chilambwe of Zambia, Nigerian Sodiq Taiwo, Zimbabwean Admire Magwaza and Frank Wabo of Zambia through to the quarterfinals to be staged on Saturday.
For the veterans, only five old-timers entered which will see them play a round robin with the best two players progressing through to the final. Sixteen doubles pairs entered this year’s competition.
A new men’s champion will be crowned on Sunday after South African Christo Potgieter, last year’s winner did not come to defend due to national commitments. Potgieter beat his compatriot Jimmy Schlebusch in last year’s finals with the two South Africans combining to overpower the local duo of Neil Nesbitt and Mike Burns in the doubles final.
With the two youngsters absent, Burns and Nesbitt are back as favourites to lift the title. Prior to being dethroned by Potgieter and Schlebusch, Burns and Nesbitt had won the doubles since 2004 when the Zimbabwe Open Squash Championship was revived by the Matabeleland Squash Association.
Prizes remain the same as in previous years, with $1 000 in store for the men’s winner and $750 for the women’s champion. The doubles prize money is $500 and $300 and will go to the best veteran.
Minister of Sport and Recreation Makhosini Hlongwane will be the guest of honour during Sunday’s final day of action and is expected to hand out prizes to the winners.