The South African badminton women’s and mixed doubles finished on top, while the men were runners-up at the South African International Future Series in Cape Town.
The four-day badminton tournament took place from 6-9 December, hosting 85 players, including 44 international players from Lithuania, Azerbaijan, Jordan and various African countries.
South Africa previously won two titles in the 2017 edition, taking the mixed and women’s doubles.
In a repeat of the recent mixed doubles final at the Botswana International, top seed Malan and Fry took on Alshannik and Amro from Jordan. In their last encounter it took the No 1 seeds three games to beat the Jordanians. However, in Cape Town the in-form Fry took control of the net, forcing the No 2 seeds to step aside and secured a 21-14, 21-16 win.
The women’s doubles final was an all-South African match between national champions Scholtz and Schoeman against Butler-Emmett with Fry.
Schoeman and Scholtz were unseeded coming into the series, but proved that they deserved the title by not dropping a single game in the tournament. The young unseeded partnership kept the lead for most of the match and took the title 21-17, 21-15.
In the men’s doubles, the junior combination of Elliot and Noone played in their first-ever international final against top seeds Azmy and Dwicahyo. Noone was not intimidated and took on the top seeds at the net and won plenty of exchanges, but it was not enough to stop the No 1 seeds from winning 21-15, 21-18.
Dorcas Adejoke form Nigeria flew the flag for Africa and dominated the women’s singles final against Domou Amro from Jordan. In Zambia, Dorcas needed three games to beat Amro, but this time she managed to do it in two games, 22-20, 21-12.
The men’s singles were a thrilling match and could have gone either way. Top-seeded Dwicahyo won two tournaments in Africa in recent months and was favourite to beat fifth seed and teammate Azmy.
Dwicahyo took the opening games 21-17, but Azmy bounced back from match point down to take the second game 23-21. The deciding game could not have been closer, and the fifth-seeded Azmy lifted the South African International title 23-21.
Photo: Mala/Fry in action at the recent Botswana International by Erol Vice-Foto Art