ZAMBIA’S budding badminton ace, Chongo Mulenga has crashed out of the European Circuit’s Dutch Open that started on Wednesday in the capital Amsterdam and concludes tomorrow.
Mulenga, who left for the Netherlands after winning bronze with Zambia’s women top seed, Olga Siamupangila in the mixed doubles of the Uganda International Championships, suffered a first round defeat at the hands of German Gail Kohle.
The Zambian, who was the only African player to compete in the tournament, lost in two straight sets, going down 21-12, 21-17 and bow out of the competition.
Netherlands-based former Zambia top seed, Eli Mambwe said Mulenga put up a spirited fight in the second set despite being the first time for him to participate in a European tournament.
Mambwe said Mulenga needed constant participation in such high profiled tournaments and he was a top class player who had the potential to compete against any opponents.
“He played in a very different environment from the one he is used to and I must say that he put up a good against a good opponent, he needs to be given enough time to play in such competitions,” he said.
Mulenga who is Zambia’s hope for qualification at the forthcoming Nanjing Youth Olympics, will next compete in the Germany International Open Championships which will run from March 6 to 9.
Ranked 49th in the world and third in Africa, Mulenga will be looking forward to garner more points that will guarantee his qualification for the Youth Olympics.
And Badminton Zambia (BZ) general secretary, Kingsley Mulenga said the association would on March 8 stage a Veterans Masters tournament at Central Sports Club in Lusaka.
Mulenga said the tournament had attracted participants from corporate institutions such as the Bank of Zambia, Copperbelt Energy Corporation, the Zambia Police Service, Ndola City Council and Zamshu among others.