Morocco-based lawn tennis player Chisomo Lumeta has regretted missing last weekend’s Puma Energy Malawi Open Championships at Blantyre Sports Club (BSC) where foreign contestants dominated affairs.
The 16-year-old said he was desperate to help save Malawi’s face in the contest, but he could not manage due to his busy schedule during the International Tennis Federation (ITF) Junior Circuit Championships’ events in Togo.
Lumeta, who is on scholarship at the ITF Training Centre in Morocco, said it pained him most to note that the newly crowned Puma Tennis champion Kenyan Ishmael Changawa is somebody he beat in the quarter-finals of last year’s African Junior Championships on home soil.
“I expected that after the event in Togo, which is one of the very significant tournaments for assessment on ITF calendar, I could have ample time to travel home for Malawi Open Championships. Unfortunately, it ended four days before and I could not be in Malawi on time.
“I played against Ishmael [Changawa] at international events and here at the ITF Centre, where he was also based until he graduated to senior player recently, and I won on several occasions. I am hopeful I will not miss next year’s event,” he explained through Facebook message.
According to Lawn Tennis Association of Malawi (Ltam) president Francis Mwansa, they also made plans to have the lad in the country for the four-day tourney, but their efforts to seek permission from the ITF Centre failed.
“We had already made travel arrangements for Lumeta to participate, but when we asked the ITF Centre, they told us he was too busy to come.
“We could not push hard because our boy could be heavily punished if he could have missed the Togo event,” said Mwansa.