Two Uganda Squash players Mike Kawooya and Paul Kasirye Kadoma have on Tuesday evening returned from Belgium where they took part in the 2018 Fitlink Open.
The duo was part of the 159 professional players in the annual championship at the Hasslet City between 4th to 7th January 2018 at the Fitlink & Meeting Centre Club.
Kawooya, who is also the reigning Uganda Sports Press Association (USPA) player of the year narrated the significance of the trip to Kawowo Sports upon arrival;
We are happy to be back home. It was a great learning experience where we picked lots of positives. The weather though was so harsh
The tournament was won by Dutchman, Piedro Schweertman who overcame countryman Dylan Bennett 3-1.
Uganda’s second one Kawooya won two games as he finished in the second round as Kasirye bowed out in the qualification round.
Kawooya overcame Belgian Lode Van Baekel 3-0 winning 3-11, 9-11, 8-11 in 31 minutes.
During the second game, Kawooya fell to Spaniard Nilo Vadal 3-0, recording 8-11, 3-11, 5-11 in half an hour of action.
He also lost to Belgian Cedric De Vos 3-2 in a game that last one hour and one minute.
Kawooya fell behind in the first two sets 11-8 and 11-7 before recovering to take the subsequent two sets 9-11 and 5-11 and force a decicer.
In the decider, De Vos triumphed 11-8.
The would be fourth game was not played as the Ugandan top seed got a walk over Alexandre Benassi.
During his last game at the 2018 Fitlink tourney, Kawooya lost 3-0 to Toon Van Baekel in just 25 minutes.
Van Baekel avenged for the first round loss winning 6-11, 5-11 and 5-11 five minutes less of half an hour.
Paul Kasirye Kadoma lost 3-1 to Belgium player Toon Van Baekel with the set scores as 13-11, 12-10, 9-11 and 11-9.
In his second match, Kasirye still lost to Belgian Yvi Roggen 3-1 by 11-7 ,11-7 ,4-11 and 11-7 set scores.
Kasirye then got a walk over over Sacha Pfau from Belgoum
“The Fitlink open was so helpful to me. It gave me the exposure and got the chance to play the best squash players in the world” Kasirye said.
After the tournament, the two Ugandans had a week training stint in Frankfurt at Squash pointer club, Giessen.
In Germany, they got chance to train with one of the greatest senior players in Felix Paal.
Paal plays in the 45 + in World Masters level .
“He (Felix Paal) helped us to learn more skills and improve on our game of squash” Kawooya attested.
Paal is expected to visit Uganda in the nearby future as he continues to share his vast knowledge and skills with Ugandan squash players.
How the Ugandans performed in Belgium:
- Lode Van Baekel (Belgium) 0-3 Michael Kawooya (Uganda) = [3-11, 9-11, 8-11]
- Michael Kawooya (Uganda) 0-3 Nilo Vadal (Spain) – [8-11, 3-11, 5-11]
- Cedric De Vos (Begium) 3-2 Michael Kawooya (Uganda) – [11-8, 11-7, 9-11, 5-11, 11-8]
- Alexandre Benassi (Belgium) – Michael Kawooya (Uganda) – Walk Over to Kawooya
- Michael Kawooya (Uganda) 0-3 Toon Van Baekel (Belgium) – [6-11, 5-11, 5-11]
Paul Kasirye Kadoma:
- Paul Kasirye Kadoma (Uganda) 1-3 Toon Van Baekel (Belgium) –[13-11, 12-10, 9-11, 11-9]
- Yvi Roggen from (Belgium) 3-1 Paul Kasirye Kadoma (Uganda) – [ 11-7 ,11-7 ,4-11 , 11-7]
- Paul Kasirye Kadoma (Uganda) got W/O Sacha Pfau (Belgium)