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Flight Tickets Up for Grabs for Spectators at Lagos International Badminton Classics

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Nigeria’s duo of Tosin Damilola Atolagbe and Dorcas Ajoke Adesokan in the opening round of the Women’s Doubles event.

The final day on Saturday will see a lot of celebrities in attendance. Apart from the esteemed presence of the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode who has always graced the previous finals, this year will see celebrities in the entertainment industry attending.

They include Funke Akindele, Desmond Elliot,  DJ Jimmy Jatt, Kunle Bamtefa, Sound Sultan, Kunle Afolayan and Olarewaju Ogunmefun, a hip hop artist who is better known by his stage name, Vector tha Viper.

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According to the president of Badminton Federation of Nigeria, Francis Orbih who is also the chairman of Lagos State Badminton Association, it attendance of the celebrity is to open a new vista in the international classics by bringing a blend of sports and entertainment. “Call it sportainment if you like”, remarked the Nigerian badminton boss.

On Saturday, the day of the final, a raffle draw will be made for all attendees. At stake are two return tickets to London and Accra, Ghana.

They are offered by Medview Airlines. According to the organizers, each person at the Molade Okoya Thomas Indoor Sports Hall venue of the event will be given a raffle ticket before the draw.

A draw will then be made to determine the two winners. This year’s edition has already seen an increase in the prize money which has risen from a package of $15,000 to $20,000. Orbih remarked that the tournament will keep increasing in significance and attendance and that the next edition will witness new additions to make the classics bigger.

Ahead of the final day, the classics had witnessed upsets. In fact the Day Two had the highest amount of upsets in the four day championship which commenced on Wednesday, at the Molade Okoya indoor sport Hall, Teslim Balogun stadium, Surulere

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Following day one’s qualifiers which saw one of Lagos top seed Godwin Olofua knocked out by Isaac Minaphee of Taraba; Enejo Abah of Nigeria was put through his paces as he bowed out of the tournament in the round of thirty two to Ahmed Salah of Egypt, 21-11, 21-16—two straight sets.

Number one seed in the men’s category, Israeli’s Misha Zilberman, made a rather easy progress over Herbert Ebayo of Uganda in two straight sets and further, beat Ghanaian’s Michael Opoku Baah to progress to the quarter finals in the men’s singles.

While Femi Bioku of the Lagos contingent ended his campaign in the hands of second seed, Maddaloni of Italy, current Ivory Coast champion, Anuoluwapo Opeyori looks to be the only light for hosts, Lagos State, after making his way to this year’s quarter final rounds following his triumphant displays over Olamide Adebayo and Habeeb Bello in the round of 32’s and 16’s respectively.

Thurs day’s highest number of upsets came from the women category as the championship’s number one seeded female player, Hadia Hosny of Egypt was dumped out by unseeded Vrushali Gummadi of India in a tight three set encounter—15-21, 21-9, and 21-13.

For total casualties in the female category, the day two set of matches saw four major upsets from top seeds in the category; the likes of second seeded Menna Eltanany of Egypt, Grace Gabriel of Nigeria who is fifth seed, third seeded Egyptian, Doha Hany and Hadia Hosny also of Egypt who is the highest ranked female player in the championship.

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Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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Gold, Silver And Bronze Medals Certain For Nigeria In Badminton Men’s Singles Event! –

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Anuoluwapo Opeyori Wins Nigeria’s First Gold Medal At African Games -

It is already given and merely awaiting to be stamped. Nigeria will win the two top positions of the men’s singles event of the 13th African Games’ badminton.

Thanks to the great efforts of Anuoluwapo Opeyori who defied the stiff opposition by Egypt’s Ahdam Abdelhalim to win a tough semi-final match by 2-1.

It is not the first time that Opeyori will overcome the Egyptian in the same fashion of coming from a game behind.

He did it in 2020 at the third place match of the African Championship at the Cairo Stadium Hall 2.

By his current performance, Opeyori has set up a final match with his compatriot and usual doubles partner, Godwin Olofua in the final match later in the day.

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What a dramatic event! The match-up is a repeat of the All African championship held in Port Harcourt in 2019 when the duo played the final match.

For Olofua who is Qatar based, this is an opportunity for him to revenge his loss to Opeyori.  Both players are well known to one another.

No matter the result, Nigeria will be the winner.

Olofua is in the title match after overcoming compatriot, Victor Ikechukwu in an all-Nigeria semi-final contest.

 

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

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

 

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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 2024.

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Badminton Federation Of Nigeria And CSED Hold Outreach Training In Cross River State –

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Badminton Federation Of Nigeria And CSED Hold Outreach Training In Cross River State -

The Badminton Federation of Nigeria (BFN) in partnership with the Cross River State Ministry of Education and the UNHCR Ogoja Zonal Office have  organised a two-day badminton outreach training.

It was for physical and health education teachers from 16 secondary schools.

 

There were18 P.E. teachers who were joined by 52 secondary school students, as well as 19 students/volunteer trainees from the Cameroonian refugees’ community that reside in Ogoja Local Government Area.

 

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This training event which was held at the premises of St. Catherine College, Igoli in Ogoja was aimed at taking  badminton to members of the community.

 

The event was powered by Community Sport and Educational Development (CSED) Initiative, as part of their two year grassroots badminton development agreement with the BFN.

 

The attendees at the training event were taught the basics and practical aspect of badminton by Godswill Ifejika; who is a trained “Shuttle Time” instructor  as well as  a Badminton Confederation of Africa (BCA) accredited umpire.

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He was assisted by Nwachukwu Igwe and Obianuju Eneh.

The BFN which is one of the most active sporting federations that promotes grassroots sports development in Nigeria, decided to organise this particular event in order to use sport in promoting community integration and peaceful co-existence between the Cameroonian refugees in Adagom, and members of the Ogoja community.

 

At the end of the training event, basic badminton training equipment such as rackets, shuttlecocks and nets were freely distributed to the representatives of the secondary schools, as well as representative of the three Cameroonian refugee camps that are located in Ogoja .

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Arepresentative of the Cameroonian community in Ogoja, Ako Allan Agbor, thanked the event organisers, as he stated that taking part in sport helps to alleviate the trauma of the refugees and it will provide them with the opportunity to take part in an organised pro-social activity like badminton.

However, Ako Allan Agbor re-echoed the yearnings of the other attendees for government agencies and NGOs to take capacity building programmes to marginalised groups and residents of rural areas in Nigeria.

 

A representative of the Cross River State Ministry of Education,  Francis Odey urged the P.E. teachers, the students and members of the Cameroonian community to strive to put into good use the training that they have received from the BFN trainers.

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