SA Badminton stars battle tough All Africa Games

Local badminton stars Mia Labuschagne, Tyron Sandison and Amy Swart represented the SA Under 19 team at the All Africa Games in Mauritius from December 7-18.

The highly-competitive continental championship includes nations from across Africa.

This year, Mauritius won the mixed teams section, while Uganda claimed several victories in the individual games.

South African players Michaela Ohlson and Tamsyn Smith reached the finals in the individual games.

Local star Sandison played well and made it a round short of the quarterfinals in the singles and got to the quarterfinals in both the men’s doubles and mixed doubles.

Labuschagne made it a round short of the quarterfinals in the women’s singles and mixed doubles and Swart unfortunately could not play in the individuals due to an injury.

Swart said: “The most difficult part of the tournament was playing at and maintaining such a high level of performance.

“If you dropped your game for even a single rally you would lose the point quickly, and every point matters when the games are so tough.

Sandison said: “The team events lasted a few days and were tough and very unfortunate, however, we played well and showcased our skills and that we can be proud of.

“The individual events took place over the remaining days and allowed us to see how we compared against the best in Africa.

“All the games were very difficult and pushed you to your limits.

“And despite being just short of medalling, I believe I played well and can be proud of my performance.”

Labuschagne said: “We all admired the Ugandan team because of their advanced level of skills and their good sportsmanship and manners while on and off the court.”

The trio said the biggest lesson they learnt from this year’s championships was not to become discouraged when the scores did not look good.

“It is never over until the last point.

“As soon as you lose confidence in yourself, your game will diminish dramatically and you will lose.

“Tenacity is very important when playing at such a high level.”

HEATING UP: Tyron Sandison, right, warming up before a game. Picture: SUPPPLIED


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