Ellina Mhlanga Sports Reporter
TENNIS Zimbabwe president Regis Bhunu has hailed the team competing at the African Games for raising the country’s flag high after they scooped three bronze medals. Zimbabwe’s Mark Fynn won a bronze medal in the men’s singles, while Valeria Bhunu claimed another bronze in the women’s singles. Bhunu went on to partner Pauline Chawafambira to clinch a bronze in the women’s doubles, making it three medals from tennis.
Zimbabwe had five tennis players competing at the Games led by Martin Dzuwa, who was doubling as a player/coach, Fynn, Bhunu, Chawafambira and Rufaro Chirewa.
Dzuwa had to come in as a player as well after the withdrawal of three players -Takanyi Garanganga and the Lock brothers – Benjamin and Courtney from the team.
Garanganga is said to have withdrawn because of an injury while Benjamin and Courtney had College commitments.
Despite the set backs in their team, the players who went to Congo Brazzaville did the nation proud winning three medals at the African event that attracted athletes from across the continent.
TZ president, Bhunu, said they were happy with the team and added that it shows they could have done better had some of the top players not opted out.
“It definitely shows that we could have done better but with the team that went I think they did well, we got three medals. It is something we need to appreciate because competition is always tough there.
“We could have even gotten more medals because if you look at the players in the men’s section those were the best players – Takanyi is the number one player and Benji is our number two player, so we would have got more medals possibly with a gold. Our men’s doubles team would have been strong.
“The girls we sent were the top players so I think they did well and I just want to congratulate the team for the splendid job they did. It’s a job well done,” said Bhunu.
The team also competed in the team events on Thursday but they found the going tough with the men’s team losing 0-2 to the Democratic Republic of Congo. Fynn lost 0-6, 6-3, 1-6 to Dennis Indondo and Dzuwa went down to Sarma Nkulufa 1-6, 2-6.
Zimbabwe lost by the same margin in the women’s category against Congo. The team was made up of Bhunu and Chawafambira. Bhunu lost 4-6, 3-6 to Victoire Mfoumouangana while Chawafambira was overpowered by Grace Denga 2-6, 2-6.
They were set to play the last matches yesterday.