AFRICAN CHAMPS – Fry, Algeria take two titles each

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South Africa’s Jennifer Fry took two titles at the African Badminton Championships, the only one of the four players who had a shot at two each on finals day, when both men’s titles went to Algerian shuttlers.

Photos: Badmintonphoto (archives)

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South African shuttlers had something to prove at the All Africa Individual Badminton Championships on Sunday in Benoni.  The home team had been beaten 1-3 in the final of the mixed team event by Egypt and in fact it was the pair who lost the decisive match on Wednesday, Michelle Butler-Emmett / Jennifer Fry, who reversed their fortunes against Egypt’s Doha Hany / Hadia Hosny.

Fry followed that success by winning her second title in the last match of the day.  She and Andries Malan won narrowly over Paul/Foo Kune of Mauritius.  For Malan and Foo Kune, it was also the second final of the day but both ended up with one gold and one silver, while Hadia Hosny was unsuccessful in both of her bids for titles.

Hadia Hosny’s first loss on Sunday was in the women’s singles final.  2015 African Games gold medallist Kate Foo Kune (pictured right) dominated their deciding game 21-8.  In the absence of Africa’s top-ranked men’s singles player Jacob Maliekal, Foo Kune was the only Rio Olympian competing in Benoni.

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Andries Malan was unsuccessful in his first outing on Sunday, as he and James Hilton Mcmanus lost a one-sided decider to Koceila Mammeri and Youcef Sabri Mede.  The Algerians thus became the first players from their nation to win an African title since Nabil Lasmari won the men’s singles title 10 years ago.

Nor was Algeria done winning titles at that point.  Adel Hamek (pictured left) won the men’s singles title, beating Egypt’s Ahmed Salah to win the only final of the day that finished in just two games.

African shuttlers may be due for something of a break.  Oceania held its continental championships back in February when the big three continents were doing mixed team championships.  Now Africa has run both the mixed team and individual events a week earlier than Europe, Asia, and Pan America, which all begin early this week.  As such, only the African and Oceanian continental championships will count toward 2017 World Championship qualification.  In addition, Africa is the only continental confederation not represented at the Sudirman Cup tournament, coming up in Australia next month.

Final results
WS:  Kate Foo Kune (MRI) [1] beat Hadia Hosny (EGY) [2]  16-21, 21-14, 21-8
MD:  Koceila Mammeri / Youcef Sabri Medel (ALG) beat Andries Malan / James Hilton Mcmanus (RSA)  13-21, 21-19, 21-9
WD:  Michelle Butler-Emmett / Jennifer Fry (RSA) beat Doha Hany / Hadia Hosny (EGY)  21-12, 15-21, 21-12
MS:  Adel Hamek (ALG) beat Ahmed Salah (EGY) [2]  21-19, 21-13
XD:  Andries Malan / Jennifer Fry (RSA) beat Georges Julien Paul / Kate Foo Kune (MRI)  21-19, 19-21, 21-19

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