Badminton-Camille leads Seychelles team in African championship


Course        Camille

Cupidon        Ghislain

The championship will also serve as preliminaries of the Thomas and Uber Cup which finals have been slated for China from May 20-27.

Under the helm of coach Calix Francourt, the four-member Seychelles team of Camille, Cynthia Course, Georgie Cupidon and Kervin Ghislain will leave the country on Thursday February 23 as they will only be taking part in the individual events.
This means Seychelles will not be vying for a spot at the Thomas and Uber Cup finals as they will miss the team events.

Speaking to Sports Nation, Seychelles Badminton Association (SBA) chairman Michel Bau said: “It’s not worth it that we play the team event with a weakened team as two of our key players – Juliette Ah-Wan and Steve Malcouzane – are still recovering from recent surgeries. Therefore, we decided not to play the team event as we do not stand any chance of winning anything,” said Mr Bau.

To play the men’s (Thomas) and women’s (Uber) tournaments, a country must have a minimum four male and four female players to play three singles and two doubles events. Nigeria’s men’s and South Africa’s women’s teams are the defending champions of the Thomas and Uber Cup.

The four local players will thus pit their skills against players from countries like South Africa, Uganda, Mauritius, Egypt and Nigeria in the five individual events – women’s singles, men’s singles, women’s doubles, men’s doubles and mixed doubles.

The team started preparing for the championship in early January and Camille has high hopes on winning medals in the African championship in Addis Ababa despite the disappointment of not playing the Thomas and Uber Cup.

 “With some of Africa’s top badminton nations expected to take part, it’s going to be a tall order to win medals. But we will be all out to play our best badminton to win medals for our country,” said Camille, who succeeded weightlifter Janet Georges as Sportswoman of the Year in January.


Remote chance of qualifying for Olympics, says Bau

Seychelles stands a remote chance of qualifying a badminton player to the London Olympic Games, Seychelles Badminton chairman Michel Bau has said.

“The qualifying period ends early May and it leaves us with very little time to make a serious attempt at qualifying for the Olympics,” said Mr Bau, adding that the qualifying format has changed this time.

“Instead of each continent qualifying representatives, this time players have to be ranked among the top-100 in the singles and top-50 in doubles to stand a chance of qualifying. Compared to Beijing (China, host of the last Olympic Games), where the world badminton family was well represented, this is surely not going to be the case in London with only the world’ best players on show. This is a very bad decision and is not good for world badminton,” added Mr Bau.

There will be 172 badminton players at the London Games – 86 from each gender – playing in five events, namely the men's singles, women's singles, men’s doubles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles.

Each country can enter a maximum three players in each singles event, and at most two pairs in each doubles event.

The qualification period for badminton for the London Olympics started on May 2, 2011 and will end on May 3 2012. The qualification is based on the ranking as per the Badminton World Federation (BWF) ranking.

Ranking is counted for 38 places for singles event for both men’s and women's event, 32 places for men's and women's doubles events and 32 places for the mixed doubles.

Strictly based on BWF rules and regulations, the ranking leading to qualification will take into account following championships and series – Thomas Cup & Uber Cup (all stages), Sudirman Cup, World Championships, Super Series, Grand Prix Gold, Grand Prix, International Challenge, International Series, Future Series and Continental Championships (Individual and team).

The badminton governing body will go down the ranking list and allocated places (respecting the rules on maximum entrants per country) until the Olympic competition is full.

There are some caveats – for example, there must be at least one competitor from each of badminton's five continental federations in every singles and doubles event. Finally, there are two invitational places on offer in both the men's and women's singles.

The competition method for the London Olympics is arranged in the form of group stages and knockout stages. In singles there will be 16 groups where each group will consist of maximum four players. In doubles category, there will be four groups where each group includes four teams. The qualified players will be placed in groups according to their rankings. Groupings in singles are done from 'A' to 'P'.

G. G.


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