39TH ITF/CAT JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIPS
For the second day running, rain washed off play at the 39th ITF/CAT African Junior Championships which served off on Wednesday at the Tuks Tennis Club, Pretoria, South Africa.
The 14 & Under and 16 & Under championship featuring about 120 players from 25 countries had barely commenced on Wednesday before the heaven opens up which forced organizers to rescheduled all the matches to yesterday morning but all the players and officials were forced to remain indoor as the rain failed to recede on Day 2.
“We were scheduled to play two games each to cover for the suspended matches but today is even worse. It’s been raining since early morning and not even a single match has been played,” Nigeria’s coach Mohammed Ubale said.
Two Nigerians Gabriel Friday and Michael Osewa were in action on Day 1 before their matches were suspended due to rain. Friday was leading Cameroun’s Paul Wamba 6-2, 3-2 while Osewa is tied 4-4 with Eliakin Coulibaly of Cote d’Ivoire before their matches in the Boys 14&under were put on hold.
Friday is the number six seed in Pool 5 which also has Assil Boussairy of Morocco and Aymen Moussa of Algeria. Osewa is the eighth seed and alongside Eliakin, he has eleventh-seeded Schalk Van Schalkwyk of South Africa and Salum Mutabazi of Burundi to also compete with in Pool 2.
For the girls 14&under, Barakat Oyinlomo Quadri is in Pool 7 which also has Kenyan Angela Nyangweso, Madagascan Finarita Andriamadison and Celine Van Min Lee of Mauritius. Marylove Edward, the 11-year-old sensation who is competing for the first time outside the shores of Nigeria will face a baptism of fire as she face Makayla Loubser, the third seed from South Africa in her first match in Pool 2 which is completed by Manuella Eloundou of Cameroun.
In the boys 16&under, Christopher Itodo will battle in Pool 2 alongside South Africa’s Christaan Worst, Albert Njogu of Kenya and Fabrics Tuyishime of Rwanda while in Pool 5, Christopher Bulus will come face-to-face with no six seed, Egyptian Adham Gaber, Valia Rabarijaona of Madagascar and Shaun Andriamaro of Seychelles.
In the girls 16 &under, Adetayo Adetunji, who is based in South Africa, is drawn in Pool 5 which also has sixth seed home-girl Corin De Waal, Clenia Niyonshima of Rwanda and Sariaka Radilofe of Madagascar while Angel McLeod is in Pool 7 and will slug it out with third-seeded Diane El Jardi of Egypt, Lynda Benkaddour of Algeria, who is seeded number nine and Kenyan Faith Omurunga.
The round-robin pool matches are scheduled to be played over ten days with only the group winners advancing to the next stage.