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French Player Blondin, Ekiring Arrive For International Event

Ugandas top player Edwin Ekiring and Yannick Blondin France have arrived ahead of the 2017 Uganda International Badminton Open Championship.
Edwin Ekiring during one of the International Championships.
Uganda's top player Edwin Ekiring and Yannick Blondin (France) have arrived ahead of the 2017 Uganda International Badminton Open Championship.

The event sanctioned by the Badminton World Federation (BWF) will start on Thursday with the qualifiers for the main draw. The event that will climax on February 26 will take place at the MTN Arena, Lugogo in Kampala.

Ekiring who missed the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil told URN on phone on Wednesday that although playing at home has always caused him some problems, he is determined to perform better this time since he has been under going good training in Switzerland. Ekiring will play his first game against Kenya's John Muiruri Mburu on Friday.

Top seed for the men's event Georges Julien Paul (Mauritius), also ranked 201 in the world is  expected to face tough competition from other players from Italy, Egypt, Jordan and Uganda's Edwin Ekiring in the men's singles. The other top players who arrived on Wednesday include; Atish Labah (Mauritius) and Ahmed Salah (Egypt) who are world ranked 237 and 275 respectively.

The women's top seed Hadia Hosny who is also ranked 98 in the world will battle against the likes of Menna El Tanany (Egypt), Zambia's Ogar Siamupangila and Uganda's Shamim Bangi.

The Indian players Francis Alwin and Kona Tarun who are the top ranked for the men's doubles event are expected to arrive on Thursday morning “We expect a very competitive competition,” Simon Mugabi, the Chief Executive of the Uganda Badminton Association told URN.

Africa's top player Jacob Maliekal (South Africa) and last year's winners Niluka Karunaratne from Sri Lanka and Telma Santos (Portugal) who won the men's and women's titles respectively will miss the event.

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