Nigeria’s Anuoluwapo Juwon Opeyori was the only African player who managed to reach the quarter final stage at the World badminton sanctioned Uganda International Badminton Challenge 2023 that ended on Sunday.
Fresh from winning the men’s singles at the Africa Senior Badminton Championship in South Africa, Opeyori had earlier defeated a more experienced Malaysian player Ong Ken Yon 21-18, 21-16 in the pre-quarter final stage.
In the quarter finals Opeyori fell to Sri Lanka’s Viren Nettasinghe 22-20, 21-18. But the top African player said he was glad to make it this far because that means a lot of world ranking points to improve his ranking.
“It was a good tournament playing against the top world ranked players,” said Opeyori who was the only African player to get this far in the Championship.
In the finals played on Sunday Malaysia’s Justin Hoh and Letshanaa Karupathevan lifted the men and women’s singles titles.
Hog defeated India’s Kanishq M 21-8, 21-12, while Karupathevan struggled to stop Turkey’s Neshihan Yigit 21-11, 19-21, 21-13 to win the women’s title.
The Indian women's doubles pair of Trisha Hegde and Khushi Thakkar beat Martina Corsini and Judith Mair 17-21, 23-21, 21-13 in the women’s doubles final.
The men’s doubles was won by the Thailand pair of Pongsakorn Thogkhan and Wongsathorn Thogkhan who defeated Ade Resky Dwicahyo and Azmy Qowimuramadhoni (Azerbaijan) 21-19, 21-18.
Jun Liang Andy Kwek and Wong Jiaying Crystal from Singapore also defeated Philipp Drexler and Serena Au Yeong (Austria) 21-17, 21-19 in the mixed doubles final.
The Uganda International Challenge attracted players from Uganda, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Mauritius, Azerbaijan, India, Slovakia, USA, Malaysia, Austria, Singapore, Turkey, Germany and Thailand among others.