ZAMBIAN players face a tough competition at the on-going Badminton Zambia International tournament at Lusaka’s Olympic Youth Development Centre (OYDC) and may not get nearer to the finals.
Badminton Zambia general secretary Kingsley Mulenga said Zambia has fielded 59 players but may not dominate the tournament as they face stiff competition from world top seeded players.
Mulenga told the Daily Nation yesterday that possibility of Zambia getting into final in mixed doubles was high but a doubt in individual play.
“Most European players are eager to compete in an African tournament because they lack stiff competition. In Africa, it’s not as competitive as in Europe,
“But we cannot blame our Zambian players as they lack financial support. In Europe, a player earns a living through badminton. This tournament is being used to make points for the Rio 2016 Olympics,” he said.
He however encouraged the players to put in their best and not play under-pressure.
He said the tournament was a good platform for exposure to up-coming players.
Mulenga revealed that the winner of the tournament will pocket about K7,000 .
Meanwhile, Badminton Confederation of Africa events committee chairperson Simon Mugabi said the levels of play in Zambia have tremendously improved compared to three years ago.
“I feel Zambia has improved in terms of play. But more need to be done to reach a level where they can win regional tournaments. What is lacking is financial support to reach the levels of Egypt and South Africa,” he said.
Zambia’s Mabo Donald was yesterday scheduled to face tournament’s seed one Howard Shu of United States while Kalombo Mulenga was battling it out with seed three Martin Giffurre.
The tournament that has attracted 109 players kicked off yesterday and ends on Sunday.