Aisha Nakiyemba, who alongside Gladys Mbabazi, got bronze in the Women’s Badminton Doubles at the African Games in Rabat, Morocco, wishes her medal will attract some government attention to her and badminton at large.
Nakiyemba, admits she could have done better, especially in the singles, where she lost in the third round, but she said just making it to Rabat was success itself.
“I had lost to Johanita Scholtz in the African championships in Nigeria and I wanted to revenge on her but I made some mistakes in movement,” she told Daily Monitor at Team Uganda’s dinner hosted by the National Council of Sports at Lugogo Tuesday evening.
In the singles, after dismissing Kenya’s Joseph Mercy Mwethya 2-0, Nakiyemba lost 2-1 to nemesis and eventual gold medalist Johanita Scholtz of South Africa.
She later teamed up with Mbabazi to beat a Zambian pair 2-0 in the third round, and 2-1 against a Nigerian duo in the quarters. With eyes on the final, Nakiyemba and co. lost the semis to the Egyptian duo 2-1 and settled for bronze. The Egyptians took gold.
“But I’m also grateful that I made it to the Games. It was a hustle. I didn’t see any government contribution. I spent three months training in India, I paid for my ticket and everything. I hope this medal will raise government attention to us.”
Nakiyemba is eyeing the International Badminton Challenge and Feature Series in Maldives this month. She added she needs about 10 tournaments until April to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics Games.“ But I need government assistance. We can’t be left to suffer alone in the making, but celebrate together as national heroes,” Nakiyemba said.
Lalam blames injury
Meanwhile, javelin thrower Joyce Lalam wants to make amends at the Doha World Championship, after missing out on a medal in Rabat by 0.05m.
She blames her fall on a minor injury after twisting her ankle at the second throw.
“My goal was gold. I started well with 53 but on the second I twisted my left ankle which limited my speed in the subsequent throws. I felt really bad,” the 2017 Youth Commonwealth gold medalist said.
Her six attempts were: 53.39m, 49.15m, 46.46m, 47.68m, 45.03m and 44.54m. South Africa’s Sunette Viljoen took bronze on 53.44m. “I want to see whether I will go for the World Championship in Doha. If I do I promise a better performance,” she said. But her PB 53.39m, in Rabat, is below the Doha qualifying mark of 61.50m.