South Africa became the last nation to qualify for the ANOC World Beach Games as both their men’s and women’s triples teams emerged triumphant at African Beach Games 2023 in Hammamet, Tunisia.
The South Africans showed they are the team to beat at AirBadminton in the continent by topping the groups undefeated in both disciplines. They also came through unscathed in the semis – with the men and women winning 3-0 against Zambia and Algeria respectively.
The men did not have the best of starts in theirs, losing a tight opener 13-12 to Nigeria before winning three consecutive games 11-6 13-11 12-10.
Men’s captain Cameron Coetzer, whose team included Reneshan Naidoo and Miguel Vigario, said: “We really enjoyed AirBadminton this week. It’s fun, exciting, competitive and just awesome! We are thrilled to represent the whole of Africa at the World Beach Games.”
The event, which marks the completion of the qualifying process, was part of the 2nd African Beach Games, meaning players from both teams left Tunisia with gold medals around their necks.
South Africa will be joined by earlier qualifiers Brazil (Pan Am), Netherlands and France (Europe) and Hong Kong China at the World Beach Games in Bali.
Indonesia as hosts and China, Korea, Malaysia, Germany and Denmark had qualified based on the World Team Rankings. Oceania will be represented by Cook Islands.
AirBadminton’s World Beach Games debut next month (5-9 August) will feature 72 athletes (36 men, 36 women) across four medal events – men’s and women’s triples, mixed doubles and mixed team relay.