Mharakurwa upbeat ahead of ITF tourney

HARARE - Zimbabwe wheelchair tennis ace Nyasha Mharukurwa is bubbling with confidence ahead of the Airports Company South Africa Eastern Cape Open tennis tournament, which starts tomorrow in Port Elizabeth.

“I have not been training for the past two months because of my studies, however, I’m going to fight for a top four finish,” Mharakurwa told the Daily News yesterday.

 The open men’s draw is guaranteed to offer exciting top class tennis with South Africa’s number one player Evans Maripa competing against Mharakurwa.

The 29-year-old called on the nation to lend support to sport.

“We need to shun the attitude of only associating with sportsmen when they have reached a high level. We need to start helping them at development level so that they are able to excel by the time they reach their peak,” he added.

Mharakurwa’s passion for the game saw him overcome every hurdle to become an established wheelchair tennis player on the South African scene.

Last year Mharakurwa managed a total of five medals from the prestigious ACSA Eastern Cape Open and the South Africa Open.

The Buhera-born athlete has, within just five years of breaking into professional wheelchair tennis, achieved a feat that most of his able-bodied peers can only dream about, including those who have been in sport for much longer.

Mharakurwa has won Zimbabwe’s Annual National Sports Awards (Ansa) Sportsman with a Disability four times on the trot in 2008 and 2009, 2010 and 2011. - Blessings Mashaya

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