Nakiyemba carries Olympics dream despite tough season

Wednesday March 6 2019

Fired up. Nakiyemba remains confident of making

Fired up. Nakiyemba remains confident of making the Olympic grade despite enduring a tough season. PHOTO BY J.B SSENKUBUGE 

By Makhtum Muziransa

Kampala. The Uganda International 2019 was a tough experience for local badminton players and organisers. 
Some of the players sought reprieve at the Kenya International – a Future Series tourney – that climaxed Saturday in Nairobi but it turned out to be an equally hard-hitting trip.

 In the singles at home, only Aisha Nakiyemba emerged with an enhanced reputation, at a tournament that attracted 20 countries, as she grabbed bronze and $250 (Shs950,000) in the women’s category.  She was confident of her chances to do better in Kenya despite having sprained her calf as she and Shamim Bangi fell to Domou Amro and Samin Abedkhojasteh in the women’s doubles quarter finals in Lugogo.

 The Kampala Club-trained player had actually beaten Hany six days earlier in Lugogo just a day after the Why pain had stopped budding youngster Tracy Naluwooza in the first round, in the Lugogo quarters.
 “I made many mistakes in the third set and the lights were poor,” she told Daily Monitor on return from Kenya.

 Nakiyemba played for points in Nairobi improving her world ranking from 207 (5,810 points) to 193 (6,730).  She needs to be in the top 100 to fall among those that can play the Olympic qualifiers.
 She feels confident as she was ranked 110 in July 2018 and 99th in February 2018 but skipping tournaments over financial reasons has and continues to cost her points.
“I am not going to Portugal so I guess the ranking will fall but I will hopefully play more later in the year,” the 25 year old player said as she sets her eyes on the All Africa Championships in Nigeria next month.

 Overall for Team Uganda, the performance for the girls did not get any better from what happened in Lugogo but also got worse for the boys. Only Mable Namakoye and Gladys Mbabazi joined Nakiyemba in round two in Nairobi. 
Husina Kobugabe, Brenda Awor and namesake Mugabi fell in the first round. Only Fred Kirabo made it past the qualification rounds among the Ugandan male players but he too was stopped by Switzerland’s Joel Konig in the first round.

KENYA INT’L - FUTURES

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SELECT RESULTS - QUARTERFINALS
Women’s Singles
Doha Hany (EGY) bt Aisha Nakiyemba
(21-12, 21-23, 21-10)
 UGANDA BADMINTON INT’L
How locals finished in semi-finals
Women’s Singles
Domou Amro (Jor) bt. Aisha Nakiyemba
(21-15, 21-17)
Women’s Doubles
Doha Hany & Hadia Hosny (EGY) bt Betty
Apio & Phiona Sembogo (21-7, 21-8)
 Men’s Doubles
Godwin Olofua & A. Opeyori (NGR) bt Friday
Attama & Muzafar Lubega (21-15, 21-19)

mmuziransa@ug.nationmedia.com

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