Thursday, April 18, 2024

Nigeria Shines At Badminton Championship In Cairo; Anu Retains African Title

Nigeria’s team at the just concluded All Africa Senior Badminton Championship, Cairo 2024, claimed seven medals with the country’s number one badminton player, Anuoluwapo Opeyori clinching his fifth African title and the third back to back.

Anuoluwapo had earlier won the All Africa Senior Championships Men’s Singles title in Port Harcourt, Nigeria in 2019, the All Africa Games MS title in Morocco in 2019, the All Africa Senior Championships MS title in Uganda 2022, the All Africa Senior Championships in South Africa 2023 and now in Egypt 2024.

Nigeria’s male team  in the team event narrowly lost to Algeria in the Finals even after securing the first two of five games, thereby settling for Silver. The Women’s team picked a valuable bronze after losing the Semifinals to the Ugandan Women’s team.

In the Individual event, Nigeria’s Wonder Boy, Anuoluwapo Opeyori stormed through to the finals by beating compatriot Victor Ikechukwu 21-13, 19-21, 21-9 to rekindle an old rivalry with Mauritian Georges Julien Paul where he again asserted his dominance by beating Paul 23-21, 11-21, 21-16 to take the coveted MS crown for the third time in a row and his fifth African title.

The relatively new pair of Yunusa Momoh Godwin Olofua did the country proud by beating Mauritius players, Melvin Appiah and Tejraj Pultoo 21-17, 21-15 to reach the Finals. They were, however, unable to subdue the duo of Africa’s number one pair of Algeria’s Kociela Mammeri and Sabri Medel, thereby losing 12-21, 8-21 to clinch the Silver in the Men’s Doubles event.

In the Women’s Doubles, Nigeria’s Dorcas Ajoke Adesokan paired with a new partner, Sofiyat Obanishola to lose out narrowly to Ugandan’s Husina Kobugabe and Gladys Mbabazi 21-18, 19-21, 18-21 after fighting gallantly in the Semifinals to get a spot on the podium for the bronze medal.

In the Mixed Doubles event, yet another fresh pair of Aliyu Alhaji Shehu and Deborah Ukeh-Divine lost the Semifinal match to home team of Adham Hatem Gamel and Doha  Hany of Egypt 9-21, 12-21 (0-2) to take the bronze medal for their efforts.

In all, Nigeria was able to take home an impressive  total of 1 gold, 2 silver and 4 bronze medals for relatively new pairs in all the doubles categories.

President of the Badminton Federation of Nigeria, Francis Orbih,Esq, expressed his appreciation for the performance of the Team Nigeria contingent and lamented the loss in the Finals of the Men’s Team events.

“We were so close after getting the first 2 games in our favour, but we understand that in games as in life, anything can happen. We are grateful to and appreciative of our players and their performances”, Francis said.

He also appreciated the Hon. Minister for Sport Development, Hon John Enoh for the Ministry’s support for the team.

He promised that the board would continue to support  players in all categories and at all levels.

Francis further stressed the plans of the badminton  board to immediately resume preparations for the upcoming badminton event at All Africa Games holding in Ghana from the 3rd to 10th March 20

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