Paul Makande Muwonge (Left) and Abedi Musa Bukenya pose after a game at Pom's Omnisport Center in Beauville, France (Credit: David Isabirye)

2022 ISF Gymnasiade Games:

Badminton (Double Boys):

  • Gold: France (Lucas Renoir & Yohan Barbieri)
  • Silver: Spain (Franco Daniel & Garcia Ruben)

Abedi Musa Bukenya and Paul Makande Muwonge carried Uganda’s flag in the boys’ Badminton double at the 2022 ISF Gymnasiade Games in Normandy, France.

At the magnificent Pom’s Omnisport center in Beauville township, Bukenya played gallantly up in group H and made the grade to the quarterfinal stage .

They skipped the group stage with two wins against Argentina’s Da Costa Braga Federico and Gabriel Andre Uzuna 2-0 (21-6, 21-8) and Kazahstan’s Andrey Nedbailo and Baiken Ibray 2-1 (16-21, 21-18 and 21-14).

During the last group game, Uganda lost to Chinese Taipei’s Chen Zhi Yi and Lu Pei Yang 2-0 (21-05, 21-3).

The Ugandan pair put up a gallant spirited fight but bowed to the United Arab Emirates’ pairing of Ayyapan Dhiren and Ayyappan Dev 2-0.

The UAE duo humbled Makande and Bukenya 21-05 in the first set but the East African combo recovered to fight on in the subsequent set and lost by a 7 point’s margin, 21-14, bowing out in a buoyant style.

For the first play-off in the 6-9 position, Bukenya and Makande got a bye and faced Chinese Taipei’s Chen Zhi Yi and Lu Pei Yang; falling 2-0 (21-10 and 21-13).

The Ayyapan entity lost in the semi-final to Frenchmen Lucas Renior and Yohan Barbieri 2- (21-19 and 21-16).

Renoir and Barbieri soldiered on to win the finale 2-0 against Spain’s Franco Daniel and Garcia Ruben (21-18 and 21-17).

Uganda’s Paul Makande Muwonge and Abedi Musa Bukenya with their head coach pose with their Argentinan opponents (Credit: David Isabirye)

Both Makande and Bukenya were extremely humbled to play at such an international stage, a bold stepping stone in their career development.

“To play at such a global platform with some of the best players in the world at this age on very great facilities is a big plus to my career. I am really humbled by this opportunity” Makande, a student at Kakungulu Memorial High school in Kibuli revealed.

His counterpart Bukenya picked a leaf or two from this worthy-while expedition.

“I have learnt a lot, quite a lot from playing such an international tournament as the ISF. I thank Uganda Secondary Schools Sports Association (USSSA) and the Government of Uganda for this opportunity. I also thank my teammates, coaches and everyone who has helped me in this journey” Bukenya acknowledged.

Uganda’s Badminton player Abedi Musa Bukenya (Credit: David Isabirye)
Paul Makande Muwonge (Credit: David Isabirye)

Meanwhile, the female pairing of Rafi Mohammad Shamika Fadilah and Tracy Justine Naluwooza settled for 7th place.

Like the boys, Fadilah and Naluwooza also bowed out at the quarter final stage to Ukraine’s Frolova Varvara and Sofiia Lavrova 2-0 (21-09 and 21-10).

The Ugandan female pair then recovered from a set down to beat UAE’s Alexander Irene Elsa and Rajith Rinitha 2-1 (9-21, 21-18 and 21-12).

At the next hurdle, they fell to the Indian duo of Nandakumar Prerana and Sanjay Hashini 2-0 (21-10, 21-12).

Marguerite and Pognante won the women double final 2-0 (21-13 and 21-14) to take the treasured gold medal.

In total, team Uganda won seven medals (2 gold, 1 silver and 4 bronze).

Ironically, all these medals came in one sport; athletics.

Uganda’s delegation of over 70 officials will return home on Monday afternoon aboard Ethiopian Airlines.

David Isabirye is a senior staff writer for Kawowo Sports where he covers most of the major events.

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