Holders Egypt recovered from being 2-0 down to see off Mauritius 3-2 in a thrilling All-Africa Mixed Team Championships final in Johannesburg yesterday.
The teams set up the title clash following semifinal wins earlier in the day – Egypt overcame hosts South Africa 3-1 while Mauritius quelled Algeria 3-2.
Mauritius, winners in 2000, started the brighter by taking the mixed doubles clash through Jean Bernard Bongout/Kobita Dookhee, who defeated Adham Hatem Elgamal/Doha Hany 21-14 21-17.
Men’s singles player Georges Julien Paul’s 21-11 21-17 win over Ahmed Salah then gave them a two-point cushion and hope of ending their 23-year wait for continental supremacy.
Egypt, however, were not ready to relinquish the title they won in Kampala, Uganda in 2021.
Nour Ahmed Youssri kickstarted the comeback, beating Ludik Kate 21-7 21-17 in women’s singles before men’s pair Elgamal/Salah levelled the tie by edging Bongout/Paul 17-21, 22-20, 21-18.
It was then left to Youssri and Hany in women’s doubles to complete the fightback and they combined effectively to deliver the winning point against Dookhee/Kate with a 21-14 21-16 victory.
This is Egypt’s third mixed team title overall, having also won their first in 2017 in the same city.
The players will return to contest the individual events today, with the final slated for Sunday.