13 countries fight it out to represent Africa at the Thomas & Uber Cup finals in May.
Egypt will be leading a record 13 countries to the most prestigious tournament in the continent for a chance to represent Africa at the Thomas & Uber cup finals in May. The defending champions were the winners in the women’s team event in the 2020 edition held in Cairo, Egypt, and emerged overall winners in the mixed team event in the 2021 edition, held in Uganda, beating Algeria in a closely fought encounter. Egypt represented Africa in the 2020 Uber cup finals registering an epic win over Tahiti.
Algeria is bound to leave no stone unturned as they seek to revenge their bitter loss to their arch rival Egypt. Algeria had banked all its hopes in the men’s singles match between Abdel Rahim and Adham Hatem which ended controversially handing Adham Hatem of Egypt the much-needed win to take the overall title in the mixed team championships of 2021. Algeria Men’s team comprising Adel Hamek, Koceila Mammeri, Mohamed Abderrahime Belarbi, and Youcef Sabri Medel won the men’s team event in 2020 representing Africa in the Thomas Cup. Mauritius came in a close second, and South Africa took Bronze.
Mauritius will be looking to improve on its second-place finish in the 2020 edition, but they will have to do it without the services of Africa’s number one player, Julien Paul who got injured in last year’s event: “This is the first time I will not be representing Mauritius at the African level due to my injury, but I wish my teammates all the best in Uganda. I will see you in the next edition.”, Julien Paul stated on his social media page. The 2018 and 2020 AASC Men’s singles winner has slowly returned to training after having surgery on his Achilles tendon last November.
Coached by the experienced Stewart Carson, the young South African team, comprising Robert White, Ruan Snyman, Bongani Von Bodenstein, Deidre Laurens Jordan and Amy Ackerman (AASC 2021 Women’s doubles Gold Medalist) will not be a pushover.
Uganda, credited for hosting last year’s edition successfully under extraneous circumstances, had a fairy run to a third-place podium finish.
This was the highest achievement the country has ever attained in these championships.
“Having put up a great fight to win our first AASC medal, we are going to put up more effort!”, said the head coach Sir William Kabindi. “As you know we never underestimate any team that comes our way. We will have to play each team like it’s the best.” He added.
Uganda’s top singles players Brian Kasirye and Fadilah Shamika were among the African players who benefitted from the high-performance training scholarship awarded to the top performers of the AASC 2021 by the BCA.
Other teams to look out for in the tournament are: Benin, Botswana, Cameroon, DR Congo, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Re-union, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
After dominating the 2019 AASC edition on home soil, the Nigerians are yet to feature in an African Team event. But, Olympians Opeyori and Olofua are set to feature in the individual events which will start from Friday 18th Feb up to the 20th where the finals will be played.
The BCA will be streaming all the Matches live on their YouTube Channel.