Zimbabwe pool player looks East for US$730 000 prizemoney

Fungai Muderere
ESTEEMED country’s pool player, Tendai “Inspector” Mubaiwa recently left the country to take part in the 11th World Heyball Masters Grand Final scheduled for Qinhuangdao, China from 28 March to 5 April.

However, before Mubaiwa thinks of carrying his cue stick for the grand finale, he has to clear an international (no Chinese) qualifiers hurdle that started on 20 March and is set to conclude on Monday.

He played his first match on Thursday and won 13-8 against Uphender Thapa of India. Mubaiwa’s next match is on Saturday at 9am China time 3am Zim time).

Twenty players qualify into the 64 main event draw, a stage that reportedly has the largest tournament bonus in history. Top 20 qualifiers will enter the grand finals, get US$3 000 at least and fight for the top prize of US$730 000.

Chinese 8-Ball which has now been renamed Heyball and its governing body, the International Chinese Eightball Association (ICEA), has been renamed The International Heyball Pool Association (IHPA), extended its invitation to the best player from each eligible African country, which is in good standing with All Africa Pool Association (AAPA), to participate in the qualifying event.

IHPA reportedly paid for Mubaiwa’s economy flight ticket, airport shuttle to and from the venue and accommodation for the duration of the tournament (meals not included).

Zimbabwe Pool Association (Zipa)

An invitation was also sent from the president of the IHPA for the national presidents of All Africa Pool Association (AAPA)to be present at this historical event as guests of the IHPA.

Zimbabwe Pool Association (Zipa) public relations officer Donald Wadawu is optimistic that Mubaiwa, who has been in the pool circles for the past 20 years, will make the country proud.

“He is a complete player with several trophies under his belt and as such, we believe he is going to do well in China. Mubaiwa is a very disciplined and respectful player whom we don’t doubt is able to make us proud as a nation,” said Wadawu.

Locally, Mubaiwa, boasts of nine Nepaz trophy championships and three Black Label Black Ball championships. As if that is not enough, the Zimbabwe pool leading figure happens to be the only player to win the Zipa national tournament.

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