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Pavel Kulikov at the European Championships 2018 (Badminton Europe / Mark Phelan)
Kulikov escapes group after shock defeat
Date: 4/24/2019 5:42 PM
Published by : Bobby Griffin (BEC)

Day 2 in Africa sees Russian Pavel Kulikov bounce back with a win to secure a place in the knock out stages of the 2nd Uganda International



World number 17 Pavel Kulikov suffered a defeat yesterday in the group stages of the SL4 men’s singles to the hands of Nigerian Rafio Bello. 


The Russian managed to come back with wins over Pierre Ahonounkoun from Benin and Ugandan Julius Obura to secure second place and set up a tough draw in the knockout stages.




READ: Mindset is the focus in Holbaek




The significance of the defeat might say more about the potential of Nigerian born Rafio Oyebanji Bello. Triple gold medallist at the 2018 African Nations Championships, Bello is ranked one place higher in the SL4 world rankings than Kulikov and the marginal 21-13, 9-21, 23-21 victory is proof that he deserves the spot.


Where continental results can be highly debated based on the overall strength of the field, a win against an opponent in the top 20 shows that Africa may have unearthed someone quite special. 


In a year where all eyes are on the Road to Tokyo, Paralympic qualifying table, it will be of great interest to see which African players will feature in the Paralympic Games. One male and one female player/pair will take each of the 5 major sporting continental bipartite places in the games and Bello is in with a good chance of taking one.



The Uganda Para-Badminton International 2019 continues this week. Look out for updates to follow and results each day on tournament software here with this link.

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