Sarah Nazziwa Shines at Uganda Para Badminton International

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Nazziwa wins silver at Uganda Para Badminton International.
Faced transport challenges, relied on boda bodas.
Focused on 2028 Olympics, aiming for top ten.
Other Ugandan athletes secured multiple bronze medals.

Sarah Nazziwa’s Journey to Silver

Sarah Nazziwa secured a silver medal at the 2024 Uganda Para Badminton International tournament held at the Lugogo Indoor Arena on Sunday. Competing in the Women’s Singles Wheelchair 1 category, Nazziwa’s impressive performance earned her a spot on the podium despite facing tough competition.

Underdog Status and Challenges

Nazziwa, alongside other competitors, entered the tournament as underdogs, citing various unfavorable conditions. Her journey was particularly challenging due to transport issues in Uganda. Nazziwa relied on boda bodas (motorcycle taxis) to reach the tournament venue daily, a testament to her dedication and determination.

A Determined Athlete

After the final match, where she narrowly lost to Brazil’s Juscileia De Carvalho Silva in a thrilling three-set game (18-21, 21-3, 21-7), Nazziwa reflected on her achievement. She expressed gratitude for overcoming transport challenges and highlighted the importance of consistent training and preparation.

“Transport has not been easy, but I’m glad I found a way to manage it,” Nazziwa stated. “This achievement is huge for me, my country, and my coaches. Consistent training and researching my opponents’ strategies have been key factors in my success.”

Gearing Up for the 2028 Olympics

Nazziwa is also focused on accumulating points for the 2028 Olympics. Currently ranked 14th, she anticipates a significant boost in her standings following this tournament, potentially breaking into the top ten.

“As I collect 2028 Olympic points, I expect to be among the top ten individuals when the results return,” she concluded.

Uganda’s Medal Haul

In addition to Nazziwa’s silver, other Ugandan athletes also made their mark. Sumin Mutesi, Rose Nansereko, Flavia Basuuta, Brian Mugabe, and Ali Mukasa each earned bronze medals in their respective categories. Their collective achievements highlight the growth and potential of para badminton in Uganda.

Detailed Tournament Results

The tournament featured intense competition across various categories, showcasing talent from around the world. Here are some notable results:

  • Men’s Singles Standing Lower 4: Abhijeet Sakhuja defeated Surya Kant Yadav in an all-Indian final (21-13, 21-17).
  • Men’s Singles Standing Upper 5: Jatin Azad (India) triumphed over Ibrahim Aliyev (Azerbaijan) with scores of 21-14 and 21-16.
  • Men’s Singles Standing Lower 3: Kartik Suhag won against Vijendra (21-17, 21-17).
  • Women’s Singles Standing Lower 3: Neeraj (India) beat Maria Guadalupe Rojas Perez (Mexico) (21-11, 21-14). Uganda’s Rose Nansereko secured a bronze.
  • Women’s Singles Standing Upper 5: Arati Janoba Patil (India) defeated Latika Latika (21-16, 21-15). Uganda’s Sumin Mutesi also earned a bronze.
  • Women’s Singles Wheelchair 1: Juscileia De Carvalho Silva (Brazil) won against Sarah Nazziwa (18-21, 21-3, 21-7). Flavia Basuuta (Uganda) shared the bronze with Anusha Chidananda (India).
  • Men’s Singles Wheelchair 1: Konstantin Afinogenov (Israel) edged out Marcelo Alves Conceicao (Brazil) in a close match (21-19, 24-22).
  • Women’s Singles Wheelchair 2: Ruchi Trivedi topped the podium, followed by Shana Shabana. Nigeria’s Mary Nakhumicha Zakayo and Elizabeth Atieno Ogonji also secured bronze.
  • Men’s Singles Wheelchair 2: Munna Khalid (India) clinched victory over Julio Cesar Godoy (Brazil) (14-21, 21-19, 21-18). Ali Mukasa (Uganda) earned a bronze.
  • S-SH 6 Final: Sudarshan Saravanakumar Muthusamy won against Nithin Thazhe (21-10, 21-6).

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