The Badminton Confederation of Africa (BCA) has identified Nigeria as a leading country to inspire the continent into favourable position to compete with the rest of the big nations in the world.
The BCA Secretary General, Sahir Edoo said that Nigeria is not only demonstrating that capacity with the quality of players the country can boasts of at the moment but has taken it a notch up with the ability to organise a world class competition.
Edoo said the game was moving fast on the continent and Nigeria is playing the leading role in that charge.
He expects to see African players making great impacts at the Olympics Games not only by having an increased number of stars who will qualify for the showpiece but in terms of getting the results.
“Olympics is a big event and we have to admit that big countries like China are still dominating badminton in the world; we are expecting Africa to do well in Tokyo Olympics, we didn’t have some many players at the last one but we are certain we will have a lot of them making it this time.
“Of course we expect countries like Nigeria to
represent us very well,” he said.
He rated the standard of organisation and quality of play on display at the ongoing All Africa very high, saying that the Badminton Federation of Nigeria should be roundly commended.
“We have had an amazing competition so far; the facilities, everything is great; I can say that Nigeria has put together the biggest badminton competition in the world so far in terms of standard. We have to thank the government of Rivers State, the organisers, the BFN, they have all done an incredible job.
“We have also noticed impressive performances from our players; the speed, the movements have been great in all of the matches we have seen.
It is not only about big badminton countries like Nigeria, South Africa or Mauritius, we are also well pleased with what emerging countries like Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Congo DR have done,” he said.
However, the competition has claimed it’s first biggest upset after the defending champions in the mixed team event Algeria were bundled out of the competition in the quarterfinals by Georges Paul-inspired Mauritius.
Algeria beat Nigeria to the title last year, but could not survive the onslaught of Paul and his mates as the contest ended 3-1.
The Mauritius victory didn’t come without a scare, they lost the mixed doubles event and top star Paul even dropped a set in the men’s singles event with Hamel Adel.
Similarly, Ghana bundled out South Africa while Nigeria and Egypt had easy ride over Uganda and Zambia respectively.