The Mauritian won both her doubles matches to lead her country to its first continental team victory since 2000. In a tensely-fought final, Mauritius (below) recovered from 1-2 against South Africa to clinch the title 3-2 in the final that was held on Saturday.
This year’s All Africa Games are considered Africa’s Continental Championships and will carry ranking points. The Individual Event that will finish on Wednesday carries the ranking points of an International Challenge event compared to earlier editions when it was on par with International Series events.
The Mauritians created the first upset of the tournament with a 3-0 result over a strong Nigerian contingent in the semi-finals. With the likes of Kate Foo Kune (BWF home page), Yeldy Louison, Nicolas Chan Lam and Julien Paul, they went on to upset title holders South Africa in the final 3-2.
In the opening match, Foo Kune partnered Julien Paul in the Mixed Doubles against South Africa’s Andries Malan/Jennifer Fry. The Mauritians recovered from losing the second game to prevail in three: 21-17 15-21 21-17.
The next match, Men’s Singles, saw current African champion Jacob Maliekal (right) against Christopher Paul. Maliekal was the dominant player, taking only 25 minutes to finish his job: 21-10 21-9.
Andries Malan and Wiaan Viljoen then took on younger Mauritians Julien Paul and Atish Lubah in the Men’s Doubles. Even though there were some promising early exchanges from both pairs, the South Africans were better equipped technically to seal the match: 21-14 21-11.
Although the South Africans were ahead 2-1, Mauritius fought back through Women’s Singles with Nicki Chan Lam powering past Elme De Villiers 21-10 21-9.
It was down to the last match, the Women’s Doubles. Kate Foo Kune returned to court with Yeldy Louison (above) against Jennifer Fry and Sandra Le Grange of South Africa. Although they made a good start, the South Africans narrowly lost the first game 21-19 and from that point on, the tie was done and dusted for the Mauritians: 21-19 21-7.
Earlier, in the quarter-finals, South Africa beat Uganda 3-1, Seychelles beat Algeria 3-1; Mauritius beat Ghana 3-1 and Nigeria beat Egypt 3-1. In the semi-finals, South Africa blanked Seychelles 3-0 and Mauritius did the same to Nigeria.