Day 1: Africa AirBadminton Qualifier for the World Beach Games 2023 in Bali, Indonesia
Tunisia, Hammamet – The Africa AirBadminton Championships commenced with a thrilling start as Algeria, South Africa, and Zambia achieved resounding victories on the opening day. The championships, held in Tunisia, mark a significant milestone for African AirBadminton, being the first-ever AirBadminton Championships in Africa and a qualifier for the prestigious World Beach Games scheduled to take place in Bali, Indonesia. The host Member Association, Tunisia, has been actively working with the Badminton World Federation (BWF) and the Badminton Confederation Africa (BCA) on legacy projects to promote and develop the sport in Tunisia prior to the Championships.
In Group B, South Africa began their campaign with a hard-fought victory against Tunisia, narrowly defeating them 80-70 in a thrilling encounter. Led by the experienced Cameron Coetzer in the mixed team relay, the South African team showcased their determination and ambition. Reflecting on the win, Coetzer expressed his excitement about representing his country and emphasized their goal of replicating their success against Nigeria in the upcoming matches.
The African Beach Games, being held for the second time after Cape Verde, have provided a significant platform for the promotion of AirBadminton in Tunisia. The sport, along with four others, was accepted into the World Beach Games, elevating its status and presenting an opportunity for African athletes to qualify for the World Beach Games. The BWF and the Badminton Confederation Africa (BCA) have collaborated closely with the Tunisia Badminton Federation, implementing various legacy projects to enhance the sport’s development and popularity in the country. These initiatives included the donation of AirBadminton equipment to the federation, umpire training, and event management capacity building.
Twenty one-year-old Ouzaier Khayati, a member of both the Tunisian AirBadminton and Badminton National Teams, expressed her enthusiasm about representing her country despite the earlier loss to South Africa. Khayati encouraged her teammates to fight in the remaining matches, emphasizing their potential as a young team. She conveyed her determination not to let her parents down and called upon all Tunisians to come out and support the team.
In another match, Zambia, under the guidance of the exuberant coach Donald Chaba Mabo, had a comfortable victory over Equatorial Guinea with a score of 80-56. Although Equatorial Guinea made their first appearance in the continental championships, they displayed great effort and determination.
Appreciating the organizing efforts of the BCA, the former Zambian player and BCA Athletes Chair praised the remarkable layout of the championship venue, comparing it favourably to other qualifiers held in different continents. “The growing enthusiasm surrounding Air Badminton in Africa has sparked excitement about the prospects the sport holds for the continent. Said the prolific player turned coach.
Another group A Match also saw Algeria emerge victorious against Equatorial Guinea, winning by a margin of 80-69.
To provide wider access to the matches, the Badminton Confederation will be live streaming all the games on the BCA TV YouTube channel. For the complete results of the day, click [here]. For more information on AirBadminton rules and regulations, visit [this link].