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Medals in Mauritius

Team South Africa won gold, silver and bronze medals at the recent Mauritius International badminton tournament.

The team reached the finals of four categories contested at the six-day Rosehill tournament. The tournament is one of the players that Badminton SA sends player to in order to help them qualify for the Olympics in London next year. The next qualifying tournament will be the upcoming Kenya International tournament in Nairobi.

The gold medal came in the mixed doubles category where Michelle Edwards and Dorian James beat the Egyptian duo of Hadia Hosny and Kashkal in straight sets 21-19 21-12.

Both pairs started off tentatively testing out their shots.  Edwards and James were 11-10 up at the break in the first set, but no pair was dominating yet. The first set was eventually won by the South Africans 21-19.

The second set started in a flurry with James dominating play, this secured an 11-4 lead which the South Africans maintained for the rest of the match.  At 19-6 up, the South Africans looked very comfortable and went on to finish the match 21-12.

There was no South African representation in the women’s and men’s singles events. Canada’s Nicole Grether (for many years a part of the top German national side) and Cheetan Anand both dominated their opposition from the start of their respective matches.

South Africa’s silver medals both came in the doubles categories.

In the men’s doubles final Wiaan Viljoen and James knew they had a big fight on their hands and both of them would have to play well against the Indian pair of Sanyal and Attri if they were to stand a chance.┬áThe South Africans were quick out of the starting blocks using pressure and pace to out hustle the Indians.

The turning point however was at 18-16 when two unforced errors gave the Indians 18-18. They then went in to finish off the set 21-19. In the second set the Indians moved up a gear adapting their game plan to outplay and out-manouevre James and Viljoen and finished off the set 21-10. But the silver medal still belonged to SA.

The same fate awaited the women’s doubles in their match against Grether and Charmaine Reid.┬áThe match started off with monster rallies, all in excess of 20-30 shots, the defence of the Canadians coming to the fore.┬áEdwards and Annari Viljoen battled to convert the long rallies into points and could feel hard done by with the scoreline that certainly did not reflect the game.

The Canadians had too much for the South Africans to match and they lost the battle 21-10 21-7.

Team SA’s bronze medal came from Kerry-Lee Harrington who went down to top-seeded Grether in a one-sided scoreline of 21-4 21-5.


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