Connect with us

Badminton

Team Nigeria Makes Mark But India, Sri Lanka Dominate Lagos International Badminton Classics

Published

on

Team Nigeria put up impressive show at the third edition of the Lagos International Badminton Classics which ended colourfully on Saturday at the Molade Okoya Thomas Indoor Sports Hall of the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Surulere.

Although the traditional stronghold of badminton, Sri Lanka and India stole the show emerging as champions in most of the five categories, the emerging Nigerian players proved their mettle.

The pair of Zainab Momoh and Ramatu Yakubu fought gallantly to the final of the women’s doubles but lost to the Sri Lankan duo of Thilini Pramodika Hendahewa and Ishadika Kavidi in the final match.  It was two straight win of 21-8, 21-5 for the Sri Lankans.

But the score lines speak little about the efforts of Zainab Momoh and Ramatu Yakubu who had faced very stiff oppositions on their way to the final. They beat the Ugandan duo of Bridget Shamim Bangi and Aisha Nakiyemba. The Nigerian pair had to come from behind to eventually win 14-21, 21-18 and 21-15.

Before then, they had beaten another Nigerian team of Asisat Ogunkambi and Felicia Omotola in the quarter-finals.

Advertisement

Nigeria’s badminton boss, Francis Orbih is undeterred that the Nigerians did not emerge winners. He remarked that the Nigerian team is still work in progress as his administration will embark on talent hunting, talent development and popularizing badminton to lift it from the realm of lesser-known sport.

He said that with assistance of the corporate organizations in Nigeria as well as those of governments and individuals, Nigeria will soon become a force to reckon with in international badminton circuits. He particularly praised the efforts of Lagos State governor, Akinwunmi Ambode who has lifted the Lagos International Classics since its inception.

He hopes to establish other competitions across the country even though the Lagos tournament will still remain the only international classics and the highest in Africa.

The dynamic way the tournament has become has seen that no individual has absolute dominance. Top seed and winner of the first edition, Misha Zilberman  of Israel could not make it to the final match of the men’s singles as he was eliminated in the semi-finals by the eventual winner and fourth seed,  Rahul Yadav Chittaboina of India who went ahead to beat compatriot, Karan Rajan Rajarajan  21-15, 21-13 in an entertaining final match.

The elimination of top seed and inaugural winner, Misha Zilberman was not the only upset of the Lagos International classics. Thilini Pramodika Hendahewa of Sri Lanka who was unseeded in the tournament emerged champion in the women’s category after a close victory over India’s Mugdha Agrey who was seeded fourth heading into the international challenge.

Advertisement

Lagos and Nigeria’s hopes in the men’s singles event, Anuoluwapo Opeyori, was eliminated in the quarter finals by arguably, the most impressive player thus far in the competition Chittaboboina who emerged the final winner.

The third day of the classics witnessed the highest degree of upset after top seed in the men singles category and former winner, Misha Zilberman, was knocked out by tournament fourth seeded Egyptian and Anuoluwapo’s nightmare, Chittaboboina in a thrilling three set encounter(21-13, 22-24, 21-14) to reach the final.

Some of the biggest highlights in the women’s category saw Nigeria’s top seed and tournament’s eighth seed, Dorcas Adesokan knocked out by Mugdha Agrey of India; 21-10, 19-21, 21-12 in a keenly contested three games.

Nigeria’s nearly dashing hopes in the competition bumped to live again in the female doubles and men doubles categories.

In the men doubles, the duo of Anuoluwapo Opeyori and Godwin Olofua ran away in a rather emphatic fashion in two straight sets, thrashing their Egyptian opposition, Abdelhakim and Ahmed Salah 21-10, 21-16 to progress to the finals—an unprecedented feat for the duo.

Advertisement

Also, in the female singles category, the impressive Nigerian pairing of Zainab Momoh and Ramatu Yakubu defeated Sri Lanka’s Hendahewa and Ishadika Kavidi in a nervy three set encounter—14-21, 21-18, 21-15.

In what was seemingly, one of the best come backs of the championship, the Nigerian women doubles duo fought back into the game in second set after losing the first set and then showing some class to pip their opposition from Sri Lanka; -1-2 in major scores.

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.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Badminton

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

Published

on

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.

Advertisement

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.

 

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Badminton

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

Published

on

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.

Advertisement

 

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.

 

Advertisement

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.

Advertisement

 

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.

 

Advertisement

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.

Advertisement

 

Continue Reading

Badminton

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

Published

on

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.

 

Advertisement

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.

Advertisement

 

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 .

Advertisement

 

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.

Advertisement

 

Continue Reading

Most Viewed