Second seeds Algeria led Zambia in qualifying for the knock out stage in Group A of the All Africa Senior Championships. Group B saw South Africa finish ahead of Mauritius and Egypt were the eventual winners of Group C followed by Uganda. The first 2 of each group qualified for the knock out stage.
In the morning session, the fancied South Africans didn’t spare any casualties in their Group B encounter with Botswana. Leading the charge, it only took 19 minutes for Johanita Scholz to beat the inexperienced Tebogo Ndzinge 2-0. Tebogo playing in her first major Championships showed sparks of brilliance but, it was not enough to overcome the 2019 All African Games champion. In the Mixed Doubles match, the South African pair of Robert White and Deidre Laurens Jordan were unstoppable against the scratch combination of Botswana’s Perekisi Tshepo and Tessa Kabelo. The match ended 2-0 in favor of South Africa.
“We knew that South Africa is a tough team but, we gave our best. We are a young team, and we still have room to improve. I wish to take this opportunity to thank the organizers of the event for a job well done.” said Perekisi Tshepo.
Things didn’t go any different in the Women’s Doubles as the combination of Amy Ackerman and Johanita Scholtz cruised against Tessa Kabelo and Tebogo Ndzinge. Tumisang Olekantse and Perekisi tried to save face for Botswana in the Men’s Doubles match against Bongani von Bodenstein and Robert White but it was not their day in the office as they went down gallantly losing 21-15 21-17 to South Africa.
Ruan Snyman of South Africa almost gave the Botswanas the very much-needed win in the Men’s Singles. Tumisang Olekantse was up to the task but lost his cool and concentration when a series of service faults were called against him.
I lost the first set due to the service faults calls and I could not recover my concentration. The coach tried to help and I was able to win the second set. He said
In the third set, Ruan was the better player mentally managing to contain Tumisang for a final score of 21-7 19-21 21-15.
In the afternoon, South Africa clinched a massive win against the second seed of the tournament, Mauritius 3-2.
In Group A, Algeria, kept another clean sheet against a spirited Zambian team. Halla Bouksani started the Algerian campaign by beating Ngandwe Miyambo 2-0 in the women’s singles, setting the stage for Tanina Violette Mammeri and Linda Mazri to beat Elizabeth Chipeleme and Ngandwe Miyambo in Women’s doubles 2-0. In the mixed doubles, Koceila Mammeri and Tanina dispatched Kalombo Mulenga and Elizabeth Chipeleme in 2 games to nill while Mwanza Edward and Chongo Ezra were no match to Koceila Mammeri and Yousef Sabri Medel losing in two straight games. Zambia’s number one singles player Kalombo gave a good account of himself but lost 1-2 to the Algerian Captain Adel Hamek.
(photo of Kasirye) In group C, the titanic encounter between Egypt and the hosts Uganda lived up to its promise. The Uber Cup and Sudirman representative of Africa started the encounter well with the mixed doubles pair of Adham Hatem Elgamal and the triple Olympian Doha Hany beating the combination of Israel Wanagalya and Husina Kobugabe. Brian Kasirye restored Uganda’s hope by beating Mohamed Mostafa Kamel 2-1 in the Men’s Singles. Gladys Mbabazi continued Uganda’s fairy tale when caused a major upset by beating the recently crowned under 19 African Champion Nour Ahmed Youssri 2-0. Uganda’s dominance of the encounter was short-lived as Egypt clawed back to clinch the Men’s doubles match 2-1 in a tense tie. Nour Ahmed Youssri and Doha Hany sealed Egypt’s victory in the women’s double match by beating the brave Husina Kobugabe and Gladys Mbabazi 2-1.
The Knock out stage is set to begin tomorrow as per the draw conducted today by the
BCA Secretary General and Tournament Director Sahir Edoo in front of the Team Managers. Egypt and Algeria were seeded 1and 2 respectively getting byes. Mauritius will be facing off with the Hosts Uganda while Zambia meets South Africa.