Badminton: African championship-Seychelles wins mixed doubles bronze medal


Seychelles’ mixed doubles pair of Cupidon and Camille won a bronze medal in Ethiopia

The bronze medal came courtesy of Sportswoman of the Year Alisen Camille who teamed up with Georgie Cupidon, who was the runner-up to Sportsman of the Year Allan Julie.

Seychelles’ other representatives at the competition which served as  preliminaries of the Thomas and Uber Cup whose finals are set for China from May 20-27, were Cynthia Course and Kervin Ghislain.

The team, headed by coach Calix Francourt, only took part in the individual events of the competition, meaning they did not compete for a spot at the Thomas and Uber Cup finals.

After eliminating the Egyptian duo of Kareem Shedeed and Menna El Tanany 2-1 (11-21, 21-12, 21-15) in the first round, Camille and Cupidon advanced to the quarterfinal where they played against the South African pair of brother and sister Willem and Annari Viljoen. Camille and Cupidon won the match 2-0 (21-9, 21-17) to book a semifinal spot against another South African duo comprising Enrico James and Stacey Doubell. Camille and Cupidon lost the match 0-2 to settle for the bronze medal. The set scores were 21-15 and 21-5 in favour of the South African pair.

Seychelles’ other mixed doubles pair – Cynthia Course and Kervin Ghislain – was eliminated in the quarterfinal stage.
Ghislain and Course started the competition well with a 2-0 (28-18, 21-18) win over Sam Daniel and G. Mensah of Ghana, before losing 0-2 to Fagbemi Olaoluwa and Susan Ideh of Nigeria in the quarterfinal. The set scores were 21-13 and 21-18 for the Nigerian duo.

The mixed doubles’ gold medal was won by Dorian James and Michelle Edwards of South Africa with a 2-0 (21-16, 21-6) win against fellow South Africans Enrico James and Stacey Doubell.

In the women’s doubles, Camille teamed up with Course and were eliminated in the quarterfinal. They won their first match 2-0 (2-11, 21-11) against Ghita Charouite and Rajae Rochidy of Morocco before losing 0-2 (18-21, 18-21) to the South African duo of Michelle Emmet and Stacey Doubell in the quarterfinal.

Michelle Edwards and Annari Viljoen earned a 2-0 (21-16, 21-19) win against the Nigerians Susan Ide and Grace Daniel in the final.

After receiving a bye in the first round of the men’s doubles competition, Cupidon and Ghislain eliminated the Mauritian pair of Christopher Paul and Stephan Beharry 2-0, before being dispatched from the competition on the same score by Jinkam Bulus and Fagbemi Olaoluwa of Nigeria. The set scores were 21-13 and 21-16.

Dorian James and Willem Viljoen won the men’s doubles title with a 2-20 (21-15, 21-5) victory against Jinkam Bulus and Fagbemi Olaoluwa of Nigeria.

In the women’s singles, Camille was eliminated 1-2 (18-21, 22-20, 19-21) in the first round by Shamim Bangi of Uganda, while Seychelles’ other representative Cynthia Course was eliminated in the quarterfinal. After beating Nakalya Rose of Uganda 2-0 (21-5, 21-16) in the first round, Course was narrowly edged out 0-2 (19-21, 18-21) by Fatima Azeez of Nigeria in the quarterfinal.

Nigerian Grace Daniel won the women’s singles title with a come-from-behind 2-1 (19-21, 21-14, 21-16) win over Grace Ofodile also of Nigeria.

In the men’s singles, Kervin Ghislain only managed to reach round two of the competition. After eliminating Mit Patel of Kenya 2-0 (21-12, 21-14), Ghislain played against Solomon Nyarko of Ghana. The Ghanaian player won the match 2-0 (21-13, 22-20.
The gold medal of the competition went to south African Jacob Maliekal, who is currently the top-ranked African badminton player in the world. He beat Egyptian Rahman Kashlal 2-0 (21-15, 21-15) in the final.

A young East London athlete, Maliekal made history when he became the first South African to win gold in the badminton men’s singles at the All-Africa Games in Maputo, Mozambique last year. The young star has also taken part in the World Championships in London in August last year. Maliekal is now aiming for the 2012 Olympic Games and become a world-class player.

R. D.

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