The All Africa Senior Championships will take place from February 13 to 19 at John Barrable Hall.
National coach Stewart Carson has selected an experienced squad of 13 players that comprises specialists in singles, doubles and mixed doubles competitions.
The players are pleading with the community to rally behind them as they look to lift the trophy on home soil.
Currently ranked number one in the men’s singles and mixed doubles, Robert is the national champion in both the men’s singles and mixed doubles categories.
The man from Bloemfontein made his name in the junior ranks before his promotion to the seniors.
In 2018, he won the SuperSport Let’s Play Express Sports Star of the Year for his contribution to badminton and hockey.
“It would mean a lot if you came and supported us. We would really appreciate it,” he said.
With a gold medal in the women’s singles and women’s doubles at the All Africa Championships in Uganda in 2021, the 23-year-old is among the favourites to clinch the gold in the singles competitions.
“I’m truly honoured knowing that our country is behind us, supporting each one of us to reach our goals and encouraging us to push our limits as we try to qualify for the Olympics.
“Playing on the court is great but playing with a whole support system is mind-blowing. It just adds fuel to the fire burning inside of me to keep going.
“We as the national team would not be able to represent the country without support from our fans. Please join us on our adventure.”
Ranked second in the men’s singles and first in the mixed doubles, Robert is a full South Africa international with colours in both badminton and baseball.
Among his recent achievements was winning the men’s singles, doubles and mixed doubles crowns at the U19 national championships last July and also being selected to represent South Africa at the WBSC U18 World Championship in the USA.
The 25-year-old is one of the two reserves. She’s a women’s doubles and mixed doubles specialist and is also the coach of the Westville Boys High School badminton team that won the national school championship last year.
“It’s a huge honour to play for my country. Please support us as we fight for the gold. We are excited and ready to give it our best,” she said.
Michaela Ohlson (emerging POC)
The 18-year-old from the Western Cape is one of the youngest players in the team. She’s been playing badminton since the age of 10 and her most recent achievement was a silver medal in the women’s doubles at the All Africa U19 tournament in Mauritius.
The 18-year-old from the Northern Cape has risen through the ranks, first making a name for herself in the juniors’ set-up. She’s ranked third in the women’s singles in national rankings.
“It’s a dream come true to represent my country in a sport I love,” she said.
Credit: Benoni City Times