Edwin Ekiring

Edwin Ekiring

Business24

The badminton star secured the country?s first gong at the 2015 All Africa Games on Tuesday after a straight sets victory over Nigeria?s Jimkam Bulus in the quarterfinals of the singles at the Revolution Arena in Brazzaville, Congo.

All athletes at the All Africa Games are assured of a medal once they reach the semifinals and Ekiring made sure of his place in the last four with a relatively straightforward win (21-8 and 21-17) over the bulky Bulus, who played with a knee bracelet and appeared to move gingerly.

As the top seed, Ekiring is expected to go all the way and he inevitably could not dwell on his achievement regardless of the difficulty of the final two rounds.

?The key thing now is to fight for the gold medal,? Ekiring told the New Vision ahead of his semifinal clash with South Africa?s Prakash Vijayanath.

?I can?t predict what will happen (against Vijaynath) but I know I beat him the last time.?

At the last edition, Ekiring was also the first Ugandan to reach the podium, winning a silver medal. Four years prior, he won bronze in what was the first of only two medals for the country.

?That time, only me and (Moses) Kipsiro won medals for Uganda,? Ekiring narrated.

Said badminton coach Ivan Karimundo, ?We are kind of getting used to Ekiring winning medals first?.

The hope, of course, is that Ekiring will go for gold and that his will only be the first of several medals for Team Uganda, which has welcomed table tennis, lawn tennis and Paralympic athletes over the last two days.

Ekiring?s success ended a terrible run of results that has seen Uganda eliminated from 11 events as of Tuesday night.

All Africa Games

Badminton quarterfinals

Ekiring 2-0 Bulus

Today

Semis: Ekiring v Vijanath

By Charles Mutebi, The New Vision

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