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Badminton: WBF Cancels Men’s Doubles for Uganda Open

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The World Badminton Federation (WBF) has canceled the men’s doubles draw for the 2021 Uganda International Badminton Open Championship.

The CEO of Uganda Badminton Association (UBA), Simon Mugabi, said that the global body had confirmed the cancellation.

The competition takes place from Thursday to February 28 at the Lugogo Indoor Arena in Kampala.

“The men’s doubles event has been canceled as there are less than eight entries,” Mugabi said.

Governing body rules state there must be eight or more entries for international series tournaments such as the Uganda event.

The tournament will be the first international championship to take place in east and central Africa this year.

The championship will feature men’s and women’s singles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles.

Mugabi said all players taking part will be subject to COVID-19 tests.

“All players will have negative COVID-19 tests if they are to be allowed to participate. We also plan to have all players staying in one hotel,” added Mugabi.

Players from Uganda, the U.S., Nigeria, Kenya, India, Germany and Ghana have registered to take part in the tournament.

Gergely Krausz of Hungary and Myanmar’s Thet Htar Thuzar, who were the 2020 winners in men’s and women’s singles draws respectively, have not registered to defend their titles.

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East Africa Sports News

U-20 AFCON: Debutant Uganda to Play Ghana in Final after 4-1 Trashing of Tunisia

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Derrick Kakooza on Monday scored a hattrick as debutants Uganda continued with their dream run at the Total Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), beating Tunisia 4-1 at the Olympic Stadium in Nouakchott to book a date against Ghana in Saturday’s final.

Earlier in the day, Ghana pipped Gambia 1-0 to reach the finals.

Kakooza, duly named man of the match, moved clear of Ghana’s Precious Boah in the race for the Golden Boot, his hattrick against the Tunisians taking his tally to five. He scored one in the first half and two in the second, adding on to Richard Basangwa’s early opener.

According to a report in the CAF media outlet, the CECAFA regional champions led 2-1 at the break, Basangwa’s left foot causing all the damage for the Tunisians with a goal and an assist.

The forward broke the deadlock in the fourth minute with a brilliant strike on the half volley. He picked up a cross from the left, took a deft touch to loop the ball over Mohamed Aziz Guesmi’s reach, before rifling a low shot into the box.

The Ugandan Hippos were not showing any signs of stage fright despite this being their first ever time at the tournament and were taking the Tunisians by the horns from the opening minute.

They, however, had to make unexpected changes when Najib Yiga who had started as the left-footed swinger of a three-man midfield went down injured and Ivan Bogere was summoned to replace him. This necessitated a change in shape for the Ugandans.

Despite the change in strategy, they were still on top of their game and pressed Tunisia into committing mistakes. The Ugandans worked hard and ran all over the pitch, closing down the spaces for the North Africans.

They were two goals up after 36 minutes and it was Basangwa who hurt them again. The forward picked up the ball on the left, drove into the box before cutting back a cross that Kakooza gleefully tapped into an empty net for his third of the tournament.

But Tunisia halved the deficit just two minutes on the turn, when Adam Benlamine tapped into the net from close range after goalkeeper Jack Komakech had pushed Chiheb Labidi’s flick off a Zied Berrima corner against the upright.

Uganda almost snapped back their two-goal advantage a minute to the break when Bobosi Byaruhanga pinched the ball off the Tunisians in midfield, before playing Isma Mugulusi through, the midfielder’s ferocious shot coming off the bar with keeper Elias Imed left rooted to his spot.

At the start of the second half, Tunisia made changes in front, Nabil Makni coming off for Hamdi Abidi. The substitute almost came in with a bang just a minute after coming on, his towering header off Mohamed Amine Ben Zghada’s cross from the left going inches over.

But the Ugandans got themselves back in comfortable space just two minutes later, Kakooza scoring his second with a looping header after his run behind the defense was picked out by the impressive Byaruhanga.

With a comfortable two-goal margin, the Ugandans eased the pressure with the Tunisians looking lost for answers. A good interchange of passes at the edge of the box saw Uganda almost score a fourth, but Bogere’s shot after a backheel flick from Steven Sserwadda went over.

Tunisia tried to find their way back into the match and they were inches close in the 71st minute, but were denied when Musa Ramathan cleared off the line. Keeper Komakech had been beaten by Abidi as he came out to pick a cross, but the substitutes header was cleared before it crossed the chalk.

Off the resultant corner, Uganda were away on the counter attack and they made it 4-1, putting the game to bed. Skipper Gavin Kizito looped the ball forward and Bogere controlled and put Kakooza through, the forward striding through on goal to slide in the fourth and his fifth of the tournament.

There was no way back for the young Carthage Eagles as Uganda took control of the tempo of the game, calming down the pace and managing the time well.

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Ethiopia’s Segay Breaks 1500m World Record

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Gudaf Tsegay, an Ethiopian athlete has smashed the 1500m indoor world record by over two seconds, as she beat a record set by Genzebe Dibaba in Karlrushe, Germany in 2014.

She smashed the record in Lievin, France on Tuesday, completing the race in under four minutes, with a time of 3:53.09.

Britishwoman, Laura Muir came second in the race, as she was blown away by six seconds by the determined Tsegay.

The 24-year old Ethiopian said she has met her target of beating and setting the world 1500m indoor record and she is happy to have done it in style.

“I’m very happy to set a world indoor record,” said Tsegay. “I have been training really hard and I set myself a target to break the world indoor record.”

Tsegay, by breaking the record, is trailing the footsteps of great athletes in the history of Ethiopia and in Africa.

Dibaba, whose record she’s broken, is one of the best athletes to come out of Ethiopia and the continent, with others like Maria Mutola of Mozambique, Kirsty Coventry of Zimbabwe and a host of other legendary female athletes flying Africa’s flag in the past.

Tsegay previously competed in the World Indoor Championship in 2014 and 2016, winning a bronze medal on the second occasion. She competed in her first world indoor championship at the age of 17.

She also represented Ethiopia in the 2016 Olympics and the 2017 and 2019 World Athletics Championship.

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Guinea, Zambia Earn Big Wins In CHAN Matches

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After successive 1-0 victories and 0-0 stalemates, the African Nations Championship had its first multiple scoring game in the last set of first round of matches.

Zambia defeated Tanzania 2-0 courtesy of goals from Emmanuel Chabula and Collins Nikombe in the second half of the encounter.

The Chipolopolo got out of the blocks early, but failed to break a resolute Tanzanian team in the first half of the clash.

With the 2-0 win, Zambia became the first team to score more than one goal in the competition.

Late on Tuesday, Guinea also crushed Namibia 3-0. The Syli Nationale scored their first goal through Yakhouba Gnagna Barry before Ousmane Camara added a second.

Barry added the icing on the cake for Guinea as they became top scorers in the competition and the first team to score more than two goals after eight matches.

Second round of group games will begin today with Cameroon playing against Mali while Burkina Faso face Zimbawe.

The hosts, Cameroon and Mali will vie for the group’s top spot after 1-0 victories in their first games.

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