Saturday,18 August, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1242, (16-22 April 2015)
Saturday,18 August, 2018
Issue 1242, (16-22 April 2015)

Ahram Weekly

Junior strokes

Egypt hosted the 6th African Badminton Juniors Championship from 3-9 April at Cairo Stadium’s indoor hall, writes Abeer Anwar

Al-Ahram Weekly

The one-week event saw the participation of eight African countries: Algeria, Zambia, Uganda, Botswana, Morocco, Mauritius, South Africa and host Egypt.

“Both the African and International Badminton Federations started paying more attention to junior events because of the Youth Olympic Games in Argentina in 2019,” explained Ali Hasaballah, president of the Egyptian Badminton Federation. Hasaballah added that because Egypt participated in the Youth Olympics twice, “there is hope that we can go to the next Olympics”.

In the championship, Egypt took third place in the team event. In doubles, Nada Abdel-Rahman and Farah Abdel-Karim won the gold medal while Hana and Toqaa Atef came in third in the same event. Toqaa added a second silver in the individual event and Sarah the bronze in the same event. Karim and Nada took the bronze in the mixed doubles. Mahmoud Montasser won the bronze in the boy’s individual competition.

Uganda is the defending champion, having won the event in 2014.

Egypt hosted the championship once before, in 2008, coming in second place.

Badminton has its origins in ancient civilisations in Europe and Asia. The ancient game, known as battledore (bat or paddle) and shuttlecock, probably originated more than 2,000 years ago.

In the 1600s battledore and shuttlecock was an upper class pastime in England and many other European countries. It was simply two people hitting a shuttlecock backwards and forwards with a simple bat as many times as they could without allowing it to hit the ground.

A contemporary form of badminton - a game called poon - was played in India in the 1800s where a net was introduced and players hit the shuttlecock across the net. British officers in the mid 1800’s took the game back to England where it was introduced as a game for the guests of the Duke of Beaufort at his stately home, called ‘Badminton House’ in Gloucestershire, England, where it became popular.

In March 1898, the first open tournament was held at Guildford. The first ‘All England’ Championships were held the following year. Denmark, the US and Canada became ardent followers of the game during the 1930s.

Then, in 1934, the International Badminton Federation was formed, with the initial members including England, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, Denmark, Holland, Canada, New Zealand and France, with India joining as an affiliate in 1936.

The first major IBF tournament was the Thomas Cup (world men’s team championships) in 1948. Since then, the number of world events has increased with the addition of the Uber Cup (women’s team), World Championships (individual events), Sudirman Cup (mixed team), World Junior Championships and the World Grand Prix Finals.

Badminton was introduced as a Commonwealth Games programme sport in Kingston, Jamaica in 1966 and has been part of every Commonwealth Games programme since then. Initially, all five disciplines were included – singles (men, women), doubles (men, women) and mixed doubles with the Teams Event included in the programme in later Commonwealth Games.

Badminton is a relatively new Olympic Games sport. After being a demonstration sport in Munich in 1972, it became an Olympic sport in Barcelona in 1992 with the singles and doubles disciplines introduced for the first time in the Olympic Games. In Atlanta in 1996, a mixed doubles event was included, the only mixed doubles event in all of the Olympic sports.

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