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OPEYORI, ADESOKAN RULE AT GOLDEN STAR NATIONAL BADMINTON CHAMPIONSHIP AS LAGOS EMERGES OVERALL WINNERS

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Top seeds- Anuoluwapo Opeyori and Dorcas Adesokan – emerged the winners of the second edition of the Katsina Golden Star National Badminton Championship, which came to an end at the weekend.

 

Opeyori defeated Eneojo Abah 21-16, 21-19 in the men’s singles event, while Adesokan beat Deborah Ukeh 21-12, 18-21, 21-10 to remain top on the rankings and smile home with N150, 000 each.

Abah and Ukeh, who finished second also got N100, 00 each for their efforts, while joint third and fourth got N70, 000 each. The 5th to 8th place finishers (four) got 40,000 each, while the 9th to 16th (8 players got 10,000 each).

In the men’s doubles event, Opeyori partnered Godwin Olofua to beat the pair of Habeeb Bello and Usman Isiaq 21-11, 21-15 to cart home the top prize. In the women’s doubles event, Adesokan joined forces with Augustina Sunday to defeat the pair of Deborah Ukeh and Peace Orji.

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In the mixed doubles, Abah and Orji combined to beat Ciroma Emmanuel and Zainab Alabi 21-11, 21-14.

Winners in the doubles event got 70,000 each, second place finishers got 45,000 each, while the joint third and fourth (four players) got 30,000 each. The 5th to 8th place finishers (eight players) got N15, 000.

In one of the major high points of the tournament, two of the junior players that went to Algeria for the Africa Youth Games made it to the quarter finals in the men’s singles event. The boys are: Daniel Christopher from Lagos State and Balarabe Umar from Bauchi State, Umar went on and made it to the semi-finals of the championship.

Also from the girl’s junior team, Zainab Alabi from Kwara state made it to the semi-finals in the women’s singles.

President of the Badminton Federation of Nigeria, Francis Orbih commended the players for putting up their best at the championship. He commended the junior players who gave a good account of themselves urging them to do better in subsequent championships.

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“I must commend the players for the good job they have dome at the tournament. Their performance shows that the future of badminton is bright in Nigeria. The BFN will continue to partner sponsors who will invest in the development of the game and players.

“The junior players have also done well for themselves and hopefully, they will become the stars and ambassadors of the game in future,” Orbih added.

Meanwhile, Lagos State emerged the overall winners with two gold medals in the men’s singles and men’s doubles as well as a bronze medal in the men’s single. Ogun State was second with one gold medal.

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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