The president of the Badminton Federation of
Nigeria (BFN) Francis Orbih is supremely
confident the country would do well after Team Nigeria secured the sole ticket
to represent Africa at the Sudirman Cup slated for China next month.
Team Nigeria edged rivals Mauritius in a nervy tie that ended in a 3-2 victory in the mixed team event of the ongoing All Africa Senior Championships and will now represent the continent in the world team event for the first time.
No African team has progressed beyond the first round at the Sudirman Cup and Orbih insisted Nigeria would change the narrative in China.
“We are not going to do well only in that Championships, we want to change the narrative by representing Africa at the world stage. I can assure you that we are going to do well in that tournament we are not going to get knocked out in the first round,” he said.
National coach Benjamin Orakpo shared in his boss’ sentiment, insisting that his players showed strength and prowess with their performance against Mauritius in the final of the team event.
He said the team would move into camping shortly after the ongoing tournament.
“We had not won this team event in a very long time and now we have it, there is always a first time. I can assure you that immediately after this tournament we are going into camping and prepare hard for the championships. I am not saying we are going to win in China but we are going to represent Africa very well,” he said.
Meanwhile, action continues in the individual event of the All Africa Senior Championships as most of the big guns progressed into the next round.
Godwin Olofua, seeded third, appeared to have confronted the toughest opponent as he battled hard to beat enterprising Aalish Lubah from Mauritius and moved to round 16 of the men’s singles.
Aanuoluwapo Opeyori also made it to the next round with a comfortable 21-12, 21-15 win over Egypt’s Ahmed El Khateeb. Number eight seeded player Temitope Bello also defeated Adel Hamel of Algeria while Clement Krobakpor accounted for the ouster of number four seed Adham Edgamel.
Round of 32 matches were still going on as at press time.
The competition ends on Sunday.