PARIS 2024…Here we come!
THREE-TIME BADMINTON OLYMPIC EVENTS QUALIFIER DOHA HANY FROM EGYPT LEADS THE CHARGE FOR THE AFRICANS.
In readiness for the start of the Paris 2024 Olympics qualification period from the 1st of May 2023 to the 28th of April 2024, the BCA, through its Development and Sports For All Committee, launched the much-awaited 2024 Olympic qualification scholarship dubbed Road to Paris 2024.
Picking up from their success in their 2020 edition scholarship programme, where for the first time in history, Africa qualified for all five events, the BCA has revamped its 2024 edition to ensure Africa gives a good account of herself.
Doha Hany, who qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in the Women’s singles, Women’s Doubles, and Mixed Doubles, is now set to focus her efforts in qualifying for the Mixed doubles event with her partner Adham El Gamal, paving way for the younger 2021 African Champion, Nour Ahmed and African games Champion Johanita Scholtz, to try out for the Women’s Singles slot.
” I am happy for the new approach the BCA is taking. We have learned a lot in the two-day training camp, held here in Egypt. The tailor-made support offered by the BCA will enable us to attend the right tournaments to maximize the points we gain throughout the qualification period.”
She added: “Qualifying for the three events in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics was a dream come true, but it also came with huge expectations from my country and fans. I plan to use the experience gained in 2020 to perform better at the 2024 Olympics.”
The Road to Paris 2024 program, is led by the BCA expert Raja Rochdy, a member of the BCA High Performance Commission established to cater for the needs of Africa’s Elite players.
” The qualification journey for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics taught us immeasurable lessons that necessitated a mind shift. We have an abundance of players in Africa, but fewer resources, all competing for the same. Said Raja.
It’s not only about how hard you train but also having a strategic plan to maximize the available resources. As Africa, we also yearn to compete rather than just qualify for the games.” She added.
These circumstances have uniquely informed the choice of our players in the program. We also cannot forget our Member Associations, who without their support and commitment, it would be impossible to even dream of qualifying for the games.
The Road to Paris Program has supported 23 players from 7 Member Associations selected as per the set criteria by the BCA development and Sport For All Committee in consultation with the High-Performance Commission. The players, are divided into two groups christened List A and B, with players in List A on the edge of qualifying for the Paris Olympics in 2024 and players in List B, who are further in the ranking but mostly being groomed for LA 2028 and Brisbane 2032.
The long-term African number one and Tokyo 2020 Olympian Julien Paul is among the players also chosen for the programme.
“I am going for two for two” He jokingly quips. “I wish to thank the BCA for giving me this opportunity for the second time. It shows that hard work and determination pay”.
“I have just returned from a career-threatening injury suffered at last year’s African Championships. I doubted if I could ever play again, but luckily, I am playing again thanks to the support of my medical team, my parents, and of course my fans.”
Also returning to the programme is Nigeria’s Tokyo 2020 Olympian, Anuoluwapo Juwon seeking to use the experience gained at the Tokyo Olympics to advance past the first round.
I am happy about the continuity strategy of the programme. He tells BCA TV. We gained immense experience in Tokyo which is going to help us if we qualify for the 2024 Olympics.
I feel it’s now time for Africa to post good results in major events.
Brian Kasirye from Uganda and Zambia’s top-ranked Kalombo Mulenga is also in List A, eyeing the coveted Men’s Singles slot. The reigning African Mixed Doubles Champions Koceila Mammeri and Tanina Mammeri are the new entrants in the qualification programme. Koceila will also be looking to qualify for two events in the Olympics with his Men’s doubles partner Sabri Youcef Medel.
In List B, and being groomed for the 2024-2028/32 cycle, are Uganda’s Fadilah Shamika, Tracy Naloowoza, and Husina Kobugabe. From Mauritius Lorna Bodha and Kobita Dookhee. South Africa’s Robert White, Caden Kakora, Jarred Elliot, Amy Ackerman, and Deidre Jordaan. Algeria’s Halla Bouksani and Adel Hamek.
After Egypt International 2022, List A players will be heading to Maldives International Challenge, while List B will be heading to Zambia, Botswana, and South Africa Internationals to sharpen their skills courtesy of the BCA Road to Paris support.
Check the results of the first day of Egypt International, which will run from the 13th to the 16th of October 2022.