African Players Pursue Paris 2024 Paralympics Qualification on Home Soil
Lugogo Stadium, Kampala, Uganda: As the Paris 2024 Paralympics qualification period enters its eleventh week, African players are presented with a second chance to earn valuable qualification points on home soil, with the Uganda Para Badminton International and the Africa Para Badminton Championship taking place consecutively in Uganda. The Badminton Confederation Africa (BCA), under their Road to Paris Paralympics 2024 scholarship program, has provided support to a select group of talented Para badminton players who have the best chance to qualify. Among the beneficiaries are:
Rita Asiimwe (Uganda), the 2020 Tokyo Paralympian and bronze medallist in the recently concluded Uganda Para Badminton International, showcased her skills in the Women’s Singles combined Standing Lower (SL) 4 + Standing Upper (SU) 5 match, defeating compatriot Rachel Mutalaza with an impressive score of 21-6, 21-5.
“This is a good opportunity when we have tournaments in Africa which form part of the qualifying tournaments as we are able to save money. Said Ritah. The support from the BCA Road to Paris Paralympic scholarship could not have come at a better time. In preparation for the start of the qualification period the BCA supported me in a training camp in Spain for a month. This training was very instrumental and helped me to play better at the World Para badminton Championships, she added.
The BCA’s support through the Road to Paris Paralympic scholarship program has been instrumental in the athletes’ journey towards qualifying for the Paralympics. Rita Asiimwe expressed gratitude for the scholarship, citing the month-long training camp in Spain as a crucial factor in her improved performance at the World Para Badminton Championships.
Elizabeth Mweisigwa (Uganda), also, a bronze medalist in the Uganda Para Badminton International, is determined to make up for missing the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics. She aims to utilize the BCA scholarship to compete in more tournaments and enhance her chances of qualifying for the Paris Paralympic Games.
“My preparations to qualify for the Paralympics have been great and I am extremely happy on winning a bronze medal in Uganda Para badminton International which will be a big boost to my qualification race” She told BCA Tv.
“I narrowly missed the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics by a whisker. I could not attend important tournaments due to the prevailing financial constraints then, but I am so happy now the BCA selected me for the scholarship which will assist me compete in more tournaments. Added Mweisigwa
Shaima Abdellatif (Uganda), Silver medallist in the Uganda Para Badminton International, is eager to capitalize on the opportunity presented by the African Para Badminton Championships to bolster her qualification prospects for the Paris Paralympics.
“I feal sad I missed out on the Gold in my finals, she said but I have another chance at the African Para badminton Championships to increase my chances to qualify for the Paralympics games in Paris. The support received from the BCA is so important to our qualification and evidence can be seen in the improvement of our skills especially after the training camp in Spain”
Another player in the program is Deada Jean Ives Yao (Ivory Coast), also Known as the “Para Badminton Spiderman” for his remarkable stance while waiting for a serve. After his spectacular qualification to the World Para Badminton Championships, Deada is now a prominent participant in the Africa Championships. Under the BCA scholarship, he aims to secure a well-deserved gold medal and bring pride to his country.
“Its like I am leaving in a dream, I had a very good outing at the Uganda Para badminton International and even though I didn’t manage to win a medal, the experience was invaluable.”
Deada and his compatriot Gbenon Jaelle Djedje began their campaign strongly, securing victory in the Mixed Doubles SL 3 and SU 5 category against Tunisian talents Yahya Tarhouni and Vienna Hamuchenje..
The Africa Para Badminton Championships now offer another opportunity for athletes to enhance their chances of qualifying for the Paralympic Games in Paris. The tournament’s significance lies in its contribution to the qualifying process within the African region, enabling athletes to compete without incurring extensive financial burdens.
The BCA continues to prioritize para badminton and aims to build upon its past performances. Through the Road to Paris Paralympics scholarship program, the organization seeks to empower athletes with the necessary resources and support to fulfill their dreams of representing their countries at the Paralympic Games. With these ongoing efforts, the future of African para badminton looks brighter than ever.