Fadilah and Naluwooza in action during the doubles. They lost 0-2 to Fungfa Korpthammakit & Patida Srisawat (Thailand) [03-21, 12-21]


Uganda head coach Betty Apio cited key positives from the 2023 Maldives International badminton challenge tournament.

The 2023 Li-ning Maldives Badminton International Challenge will officially climax on Saturday, June 10 at the Male Kulhivaru Ekuveni Indoor Badminton Hall.

It has been a grueling six day’s action where the world’s best players gathered to compete.

Uganda was represented by four female players; Shamika Fadilah Mohamed Rafi, Tracy Justine Naluwooza, Gladys Mbabazi and Husina Kobugabe under head coach Betty Apio.

The learning curve for the team continues after playing with some of the world’s best badminton players from Malaysia, Mexico, India, Indonesia and Thailand.

Husinah Kobugabe and Gladys Mbabazi in action.

In the singles, the Ugandan players faced opposition from Malaysia, Mexico, India and Indonesia.

All the four players fell at the round of 64 stage.

Fadilah gallantly lost 1-2 to Malaysia’s Oo Shan Zi (19-21, 21-18, 21-11).

Naluwooza fell 0-2 to Vanessa Maricela Garcia Contreras from Mexico (06-21, 08-21).

Kobugabe was also defeated 0-2 by Indian Sai Uttejitha Rao Chukka (14-21, 10-21) as Mbabazi lost by the same margin, 0-2 to Indonesia’s Gabriela Meilani Moningka (11-21, 09-21).

L-R: Gladys Mbabazi, Husinah Kobugabe, Tracy Justine Naluwooza and Fadilah Shamika Mohamed Rafi pose for a group photo in Maldives


In the doubles’ competition, Shamika combined with Naluwooza to battle the Thailand duo of Fungfa Korpthammakit & Patida Srisawat.

Uganda lost 0-2 to Thailand (03-21, 12-21) at the round of 16 stage as Korpthammakit and Srisawat progressed to the quarter finals.

At the round of 32, Nikki Rapria & Nishu Rapria (India) won 2-0 over Uganda’s Kobugabe and Mbabazi (21-16, 22-20).

Coach Betty Apio issues instructions to the female players

Head coach Apio cited key positives from the tournament.

“We learnt a great deal from this tournament. We shall not remain the same having played with some of the world’s best players. The learning curve continues for all the players. As a coach, I also picked important lessons from the other coaches after closely interacting with them” Apio stated.

The team is expected back home by the evening of Sunday, 11th June 2023.

Head coach Apio and two players Naluwooza and Kobugabe will return to Uganda whilst Fadilah will go back to her current camp in India.

Mbabazi returns to her base in Denmark.

Uganda Badminton Association (UBA) and the National Council of Sports (NCS) jointly facilitated the team’s travel to Maldives.

Wrap up of Uganda’s performances:


Round of 16:

  • Shamika Fadilah Mohamed Rafi & Tracy Justine Naluwooza (Uganda) 0-2 Fungfa Korpthammakit & Patida Srisawat (Thailand) [03-21, 12-21]

Round of 32:

  • Nikki Rapria & Nishu Rapria (India) 0-2 Husina Kobugabe & Gladys Mbabazi (Uganda) [21-16, 22-20]


Round of 64:

  • Fadilah Shamika Mohamed Rafi (Uganda) 1-2 Oo Shan Zi (Malaysia) [19-21, 21-18, 21-11]
  • Tracy Naluwooza (Uganda) 0-2 Vanessa Maricela Garcia Contreras (Mexico) [06-21, 08-21]
  • Husina Kobugabe (Uganda) 0-2 Sai Uttejitha Rao Chukka (India) [14-21, 10-21]
  • Gladys Mbabazi (Uganda) 0-2 Gabriela Meilani Moningka (Indonesia) [11-21, 09-21]

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

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