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SA badminton team take on Austria in Sudirman Cup
- Updated: May 13, 2015
By Mark Etheridge
South Africa have lost their first two Sudirman Cup matches in Dongguang China but play their third and final pool match on Wednesday.
The eight-strong South African team are in Group 3A alongside Turkey, Czech Republic and Austria.
One of the main aims of the eight-strong South African squad’s trip out east is to gather in valuable Olympic ranking points ahead of next year’s Rio Games in Brazil.
To date the SA team have gone down to Turkey and Czech Republic, in both cases on a 3-2 scoreline.
New coach, Chris Dednam told Road to Rio 2016 on Wednesday: ‘The two matches that we won in both ties were Jacob Maliekal’s singles and Wiaan Viljoen & Andries Malan’s doubles. These three players are the three that are trying to qualify for the Rio Olympics and their wins earns them very valuable world ranking points for qualification.’
Dednam also pointed out the differences faced by the SA players away from home.
‘It was a bit difficult to adapt to the big stadium where about 5000 people are in attendance, because we are used to hitting the shuttle in our small halls back home with no drift or wind,’ he told Road to Rio 2016. But the team has adapted now and have already shown improvement from the first tie to the second tie.
‘Tonight we are playing our last group 3A match against Austria. Then we will play the cross-over tie against group 3B on Friday night. After tonight we will know which team that will be.’
Against Turkey Malan and Viljoen beat Erme Vural and Sinan Zorlu 21-19 21-15 while Maliekal beat Ramazan Ozturk in three sets 15-21 21-18 21-18.
The women’s doubles combo of Jennifer Fry and Sandra le Grange, mixed doubles of Michelle Butler-Emmet and Wiaan Viljoen, as well as women’s singles player Elme de Villiers all went down against Turkey
In Tuesday’s match against the Czech Republic, Maliekal beat Jan Fohlich 22-20 21-13 while the doubles team of Viljoen and Malan beat Yakub Bitman and Ludik Milan 21-16 8-21 26-24.