Simbule claims Zim Open Squash title


Squash women’s singles winner Sharon Chimfembwe poses for a photograph with Safeguard Security Development Officer Perani Kahembe at Suburbs Squash Club yesterday

Senior Sports Reporter
ZAMBIAN Ray Simbule was yesterday crowned winner of the 2013 Safeguard Security Zimbabwe Open Squash singles when he defeated fellow countryman and last year’s winner Mwinga Lengwe 3-1 in the final staged at Suburbs Squash Club in Bulawayo.It was the fifth time that Simbule, based in Pretoria, South Africa, has walked away with the top prize at the Zimbabwe Open Squash Championships with his last triumph coming in 2010.

Mwinga (29) started off strongly as he sought to regain the title he won last year, taking the first set 11-6 only to allow Simbule to rally back and take the second 11-9. Simbule (33) went further ahead when he took the third set 11-8 and eventually finished it off with 11-4 in a match which lasted 43 minutes and was the main attraction, marking the end of the three-day tournament.

For his efforts, Simbule walked away with a trophy accompanied by a $1 000 cash prize while Mwinga took home $500.
In the doubles section, Zimbabwean pair of Neil Nesbitt and Mike Burns took the honours with a 3-0 victory over the Zambian duo of Lengwe and Enos Mwale. Nesbitt and Burns won the match 12-10, 13-11 and 15-13 in an encounter which lasted one hour 10 minutes to win the doubles for the 10th year in succession. The two got a shield and a cash reward of $500 with Lengwe and Mwale getting $300.

Zambian Sharon Chimfembwe won the women’s title when she cruised 3-1 over local girl Lauren Williams. The youngest of the Williams sisters, at 19-years of age, Lauren looked to emulate older sister Robyn who has previously won the women’s title at the tournament when she walked away with the first game 11-9 only to allow Chimfembwe to win the second game 11-5, the third 11-6 and the fourth 11-9.

Chimfembwe, runner up to South African Sharon Le Roux who however did not come to Zimbabwe to defend her title this year took home a trophy and $750 while Williams got a reward of $500.

Peter Cunningham dispatched another Zimbabwean Jeffrey Fenwick in the veterans. Cunningham, making a maiden appearance in the veterans category won 11-7, 11-7 and 11-5 to claim the first prize of $300  and Fenwick, a previous winner in the veterans got $150.

Zimbabwe Olympic Committee president Admire Masenda watched the finals, a move which will go a long way towards enhancing chances of squash being included at the 2020 Olympics.

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