India’s Saili Rane will be the first foreign player to arrive before the start of the Uganda International Badminton Open Championships slated for February 21-24 at the MTN Arena, Lugogo.
Simon Mugabi, the Uganda Badminton Association (UBA) Chief Executive Officer told Uganda Radio Network today that Rane, ranked 650 by the world body will arrive on Monday to train with some local players. The Mauritius player Shama Aboobakar is expected to arrive the same day.
The tournament that will attract players from ten countries will also have the World number 39th men’s player Niluka Karunaratne from Sri Lanka who is expected on February 20.
Mugabi said that they are looking forward to a very competitive tournament because the foreign players will be eager to perform well and get International ranking points, while the local players will not want to perform poorly in their own backyard.
Aboobakar is not a new player to the Ugandans after losing to Shamim Bangi last year in the Ethiopia International Open in Addis Ababa and also beating Daisy Nakalyango in the Thomas & Uber Cup.
But the UBA official explained that although they are still struggling to make the get finances for the event, the venue at Lugogo has already been organized to the required standards.
The tournament sanctioned by the Badminton World Federation (BWF) will attract players from Nigeria, Germany, Hungary, Scotland, Italy, India, Mauritius, Egypt, Kenya and hosts Uganda. In the absence of Uganda’s top player Edwin Ekiring who has participated in the last two Olympic Games, the local players expected to put up a good show include: Shamim Bangi, Magaret Nankabirwa, Wilson Tukire and Brian Suuna.