Players happy with lessons from Badminton Challenge

Ladies On The Prowl.  Uganda’s Shamika (L) and Naluwooza during a women’s doubles game during the tourney at the MTN Arena. PHOTO/ JOHN BATANUDDE

What you need to know:

  • The event, well attended by the best players from 39 countries saw many of the over 30 participants who represented Uganda ousted at the round of 16

This year’s edition of the Uganda International Badminton Championship that ended on Sunday at the indoor arena in Lugogo was the most competitive among the many Uganda has hosted.
The event, well attended by the best players from 39 countries saw many of the over 30 participants who represented Uganda ousted at the round of 16.

Only a handful of Ugandan players managed to reach semi-finals but in mixed events. The duo of Fadilah Shamika and Tracy Naluwooza were beaten by Italians Martina Corisini and Judith Mair at semi-finals in the women’s doubles. 
Bronze consolation
Israel Wanagalya and captain Gladys Mbabazi also settled for bronze in the mixed doubles after being downed by India’s Senthil Vel  Govindarasu and Venosha Radhakrishnan.
Players say they have gained the vigour and experience after competing with top seeded players in the world.

“This event was attended by many outstanding and top badminton players in the world hence playing against them has helped us gain confidence. Our opponents were so outstanding, we did our best against them. We have to do more training and work on our mistakes,” said captain Mbabazi.
National team coach William Kabindi could not fault his players.
“It was not the best performance, but this year’s competition has been tougher as the competition was well attended. My players have done their best,” he said.
Uganda being third placed in Africa is among the countries that have already qualified for Commonwealth Games come July this year in Birmingham.  Uganda Badminton Association CEO Simon Mugabi says, the event served as a build up for the Commonwealth Games.

Third best in Africa
“We had to work hard to maintain our third place in Africa. Players have also faced tougher opponents and I think they have gained the confidence needed when they face the same opponents in Birmingham,” he said.
Canadian Talia Ng won the women’s singles as Arnaud Merkle from France walked away with the men’s single gold medal.
Meanwhile the men’s doubles were won by the pair of Boon Xin Yuan and Wong then Ci from Turkey.
Their women counterparts Kasturi Radhakrishnan and Venosha Radhakrishnan won gold in the women’s double.
Koceila Mammeri and Tanina Violette Mammeri from Algeria won the mixed doubles.  
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