Khadija Khamuka progressed to three semi-finals on home turf today as the Uganda Para-Badminton International 2018 wound into the weekend.
In Women’s Singles SL 4 + SU 5, the No.3 seed faces Zinabu Issah of Ghana for a place in Sunday’s final. Khamuka will also vie for a spot in the Women’s Doubles SL 3 – SU 5 final, partnering Rose Nansereko. They come up against their Ugandan team-mate Elizabeth Mwesigwa (featured image) and Mary Margaret Wilson of Scotland in the semi-finals.
Khamuka will feature in Mixed Doubles SL 3 – SU 5 as well. She and Sukant Kadam of India withstood the challenge of another India-Uganda duo, Sugil Abbas and Elizabeth Mwesigwa, winning their quarter-final, 21-8 19-21 21-9. In the semi-finals, Khamuka and Sukant will be across the net from another African player also bidding to reach three finals. Rafio Oyebanji Bello will compete with his Nigerian compatriot, Chinyere Lucky Okoro, in this opening semi-final fixture before tackling Guillaume Gailly twice on court.
Bello and the Frenchman clash in Men’s Singles SU 5 and again in Men’s Doubles SL 3 – SL 4 with their respective partners, Chukwuebuka Sunday Eze (Nigeria) and Emmanuel Pinochet Amougui (Cameroon).
“It is going to be tough against Guillaume but my dream is to win the gold and I am optimistic that I will win,” said Bello who has been coaching as well as playing in this tournament.
Gailly is in for a long day too as he has a third semi-final with Wilson in Mixed Doubles SL 3 – SU 5 versus Indrajit Pal (India) and Lilian Namarome (Uganda). Meanwhile, Malaysian top seed, Cheah Liek Hou, is into the Men’s Singles and Men’s Doubles SU 5 semi-finals and looms large as the favourite in this discipline.
In Men’s Singles WH 2, Brazil’s Romulo Junio Soares survived a significant test from Nigeria’s Seyi Dada Dixon, prevailing 22-24 21-15 21-16 in 53 minutes – the longest quarter-final match. He takes on Amir Levi of Israel for a place in the final. The other semi-final pits top seed Madzlan Saibon of Malaysia against India’s Sanjeev Kumar.
Ghana and Kenya will meet for the gold in Women’s Singles WH 2. It is just to be decided which players will compete for that honour in tomorrow’s all-Ghana semi-final between Akosua Nkansah and Safia Furkan and the all-Kenya match between Fidelis Wanjiru Wanjuu and Asiya Mohammed Sururu.
The Uganda Para-Badminton International 2018 is being held at MTN Arena in Lugogo, Kampala, featuring players from four continents competing for medals in 19 events.