Africa’s number one and defending champion Georges Paul hasn’t been imperious in the ongoing All Africa Senior Badminton Championships and his men’s singles title will be under threat as the individual tournament begins.
Paul struggled a bit in the mixed team championships as he dropped two sets in Mauritius’ route to the final of the category and he will be under the radar in the men’s singles.
Nigeria has three seeded players with Anuoluwapo Opeyori topping the list. The Africa’s number two is expected to go all the way but it’s difficult to play down the ability of players like Godwin Olofua who is seeded third, Habeeb Bello who reached the final in the last Championship in Algeria and seeded eighth at the championship.
Experienced Clement Krobakpor, though unseeded, is still a dangerous player and has the potential to stun everyone.
Melvin Appiah is another medal hopeful for Mauritius, the lanky player is seeded seventh and has seen his game improved impressively in the past one year.
It’s instructive to watch out for Egyptian duo of Adham Elgamal and Ahmed Salah and sleeky Ghanian star Daniel Sam.
Opeyori is shouldering most of Nigeria’s hope and the youngster said he wouldn’t disappoint.
“I want to win gold in all the events I participate in, I know the expectations and I won’t disappoint,” he said.
His compatriot Bello has the same ambition when he said, “Paul beats me in the final last year but I look forward to meeting him here, I will beat him 2-0. I want to win the gold.”
In the women’s singles, top seed Kate Foo Kune of Mauritius is still the player to beat but Nigeria’s Dorcas Adesokan, Hadia Elsaid of Egypt, Chinenye Ibere and Doha Hany are expected to pull their weight.
The duo of Opeyori and Olofua will have to prove they are the best in the men’s doubles but have defending champions Mohamed Belarbi and Adel Hamek to contend with.
The championships ends on Sunday.