SCHOLTZ, AFRICA’S HIGHEST-RANKED BADMINTON PLAYER, CONTINUES TO OVERPOWER
JOHANNESBURG — Johanita Scholtz continues to dominate her badminton peers.
This comes after the athlete won the Women’s Singles and Women’s Doubles competitions at the SA Open with her double partner Megan de Beer.
“I feel happy about my SA Open performance. I achieved two golds in singles and doubles. We didn’t have the opportunity to play last year so I’m thankful that we got a chance this year and to be able to get gold,” said Scholtz to Eyewitness News.
Talking about being competitive in both the singles and doubles Scholtz said: “Playing in the singles comes naturally. It doesn’t affect me mentally it just all flows together.
“Change to doubles is a different story it’s a different game technique, physical and mental game. The positive is with someone I feel more calm and in control because my partner and I are in sync and have known each other for years.”
The athlete recently also competed at the Kampala Future Series and Uganda International Series and still needs to compete at the Zambia, Botswana, and SA Internationals to maintain her number one position.
“To be honest, playing so many tournaments after each other keeps me focused because every game I document the positives and negatives of the matches plus where I can grow and learn. I’m always excited to play in the next tournament so that I can improve where my performance was lacking in previous tournaments. The more I play the better I get with experience and learn how to cope with pressure tournaments in and out.”
However, playing back-to-back tournaments can have its setbacks.
“I played Uganda Future Series, Uganda International Series, Egypt and Algeria International. These tournaments were tough because all four were straight after the other one and this meant all the players travelled to the same tournaments. Meaning that you played the same players over again which meant they knew your game plan and you knew theirs. Making the matches more tricky than playing new players who had no idea how you played.”
The Free State athlete won the Benin International Future Series in 2021, and in 2022 she became national champion in women’s singles, doubles, and mixed doubles, representing South Africa at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
Scholtz won gold in the women’s singles and doubles events at the All-Africa Championships in 2019.
Scholtz is now the highest-ranked African badminton player and aspires to maintain her position in order to qualify for the Paris 2024 Games.
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