Badminton team recaptures Cup of Nations title in Botswana | SASCOC - SASCOC

Badminton team recaptures Cup of Nations title in Botswana

Our badminton stars have retained their Africa Cup of Nations title after a thrilling final in Lobatse, Botswana, writes Mark Etheridge.

South Africa accounted for top side Nigeria 4-1 in the final and all the SA players came to the party to secure victory.

Captain Wiaan Viljoen and Michelle Butler-Emmett opened the South African account when they beat Olaoluwa Fagbena and Dorcas Adesokana 21-14 and 21-14.

The men’s singles was a rather one sided affair when our 2016 Olympic hopefull Jacob Maliekal beat Victor Mokanju 21-10 and 21-7.

Nigeria’s Grace Daniels kept her country’s hopes alive when she took the first set 21-14 against Elmß║┐ de Villiers.┬á And although the SA youngster fought to the bitter end in the second set she┬á eventually lost 28-26.

The men’s doubles produced play of the highest standard. The South African pair, who had lost to Mauritius in the semi-finals, were under pressure from the outset and had to dig deep. After producing some of the best badminton seen at this tournament courtesy of Viljoen and Andries Malan, South Africa won 21-16 and 22-20.

Said national coach Stewart Carson: “Once again our young team have beaten the best in Africa. A notable performance came from Michelle Butler-Emmett who played brilliantly in the women’s doubles against Mauritius to get us into the final and and then Wiaan and Michelle won the opener against Nigeria ÔÇô she has performed really well.”

To reach the final, South Africa went through their pool unbeaten before beating Mauritius 3-2 in the semi-final while Nigeria beat Seychelles 3-1.

The team event is now being contested and SA will be looking to add to their medal haul.

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