Africa’s top ranked badminton player Edwin Ekiring was sent parking out of the Uganda International badminton tournament this afternoon by world number 134 Wilsnu Haryo Putro from Italy.
Ekiring (98), who is the most recognizable name in Ugandan badminton and one that every badminton fan in Uganda was pinning their hopes on, was beaten in the second round by a 22:20 and 21:17 score line meaning that there will be no Ugandan male player in the quarter finals of the men’s singles as Brian Ssuuna, Ian Ssenoga, Bakaki Rogers, Daniel Mihigo, Herbert Ebayo and Adam Mubiru could not make it past the first round of the tournament which is also being used as an Olympics qualifier.
“Honestly, am always under a lot of pressure when I play at home because everybody expects me to do well and that affects me. May be I will try harder next time” said Ekiring who dropped numerous points after failing to make the quarters.”This means that I have to play other tournaments to enable me comfortably qualify for the Olympics because am not yet safe” he added.
Uganda’s number one Wilson Tukire soon followed Ekiring as he was eliminated in straight sets (21:18, 21:11) by Iran’s Kaveh Mehrabi who is a seasoned campaigner here and is seeded seventh for this tournament. “Mehrabi was simply more experienced than I am and I couldn’t keep up with him” said Tukire after his elimination.
The women also emulated their male counterparts as all but Bangi Shamim failed to make it past the first round.Bangi was tested in her first set against Egypt’s Asmaa Badie Tawfeek which went into a deuce which Bangi in the end won by 22:20.She then effortlessly took the second by 21:11 which qualifies her to the second round where she will be facing Turkeys Neslihan Yigit, seeded fifth in this tournament tomorrow morning at Nsambya Sharing Hall.
A host of Ugandan players will have the chance to save face in the doubles which continue tomorrow morning.