Unseeded Nigerian player Zainab Alabi produced a blistering performance to bundle the second seed Hadia Hosny of Egypt out of the women’s singles event of the All Africa Senior Badminton Championships as many of the big players progressed to the round of 16.
Alabi entered the court as an underdog but she never left anyone in doubt about her desire to win the tie as she raced to an early lead in the first set, her more experienced opponent pegged her back before the interval but pulled away to win the set 21-14.
It was a ding-dong affairs in the second set until after the interval and the Nigerian held on to claim a 21-15 win and her performance was greeted with a great applause from the home fans.
Top seed Georges Paul secured an easy 21-10, 21-13 victory over Muhammad Belarbi in the men’s singles while sixth seed Daniel Sam escaped an early exit as he held on for a 21-10, 17-21, 24-22 win over Israel Wangilya of Zambia.
Fifth seed, Ahmed Salah, defeated Bongani Von Bodenstein 21-7, 21-12. Clement Krobakpor of Nigeria was responsible for the exit of fourth seed Adham Elgamal while Habeeb Bello matched on when Adel Hamel retired in the first set.
Gideon Babalola defeated Hakim Ranaud of Seychelles 21-7, 21-13 while seventh seed Melvin Appiah of Mauritius ground out a 21-10, 22-20 victory over Davies Senono of Zambia.
Second seed Anuoluwapo Opeyori didn’t have problem dispatching the threat posed by Egypt’s Ali El-Khateb.
In the women’s singles, top seed Kate Foo Kune was on the court for just 10 minutes to finish off Brenda Awor from Zambia with a 21-8, 11-8 win.
Third seed Dorcas Adesokan played for just 12 minutes to defeat Mitchelle Gaza from Zimbabwe 21-3, 21-3.
Chineye Ibere of Nigeria, Egypt’s Doha Hang who is fourth seed, and fifth seed Aisha Nakiyeiba from Zambia all progressed to the round of 16 in the women’s singles.