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  • Writer's pictureFelix Munyika

Kundanji Kalengo Wins 2023 Zambia Open Squash Tournament

South Africa-based Zambian squash player Kundanji Kalengo emerged victorious at the RSM 2023 Zambia Open squash tournament held in Lusaka this past weekend. Kalengo defeated defending champion Manda Chilambwe in the men's final after Chilambwe had to retire with a pulled muscle while trailing 1-2.

For his efforts, Kalengo took home the top prize of K18,000 while Chilambwe received K14,000 for finishing second. In the semi-finals, Kalengo beat Elvis Ngosa 3-1 while Chilambwe advanced after Samuel Kabwe retired when the scores stood at 2-1.

Kundanji Kalengo displaying the trophy after he was crowned champion of the Zambia 2023 Open Squash Tournament
Kundanji Kalengo displaying the trophy after he was crowned champion of the Zambia 2023 Open Squash Tournament

Kalengo who also represented Zambia at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, won the Men's Singles Plate competition last played competitively in Zambia in 2022.

Speaking after his triumphant return home, he said "I haven’t played a tournament in Zambia since last year, but coming back home and winning a major Championship was really a great achievement for me."

He commended the tournament organizers, sponsored by RSM, for putting together a well-run event. "If only more sponsors would come on board to stage up even bigger events like this, it would mean a lot to the sport. This would perhaps prompt our facilities to be upgraded because they are in a very bad state," Kalengo added.

The South Africa-based star went on to say that with more funding and sponsorships, he would be able to participate in more tournaments both at home in Zambia and overseas, which would help advance his burgeoning career.

In the women's category, Zimbabwe's Polite Mubure took the top prize after defeating her sister Yvonne Mubure in the final. Local player Kaluba Mbewe from Nkana Squash Club finished third pocketing K7,500 while 4th place went to Natasha Chimense also of Nkana Squash Club who walked away with K6,000.

The tournament held from 7-10 December 2023 was described as well-organized by Mwenya Musonda, Vice General Secretary of the Zambia Squash Association.


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