Team Nigeria have established their dominance on the continent after they clear the stable to emerge champions of the 2019 All Africa Senior Badminton Championships which ended in Port Harcourt, Rivers State on Sunday.
Nigeria won four gold medals, two silver medals and one bronze to top the medal table.
The team had earlier secured the most coveted gold medal in the team event on Thursday and followed that up with further three gold medals in the individual championships.
Top stars Anuoluwapo Opeyori and Dorcas Adesokan produced the most stunning shows after they dethroned Georges Paul and Kate Foo Kune from Mauritius in the men’s and women’s singles respectively.
Mauritius’ Kune had reigned as African champion since 2014; she even beat Adesokan in the final of the last edition in Algeria, but she met a determined Nigerian this time, who showed grit to hand down to her a 21-12, 21-13 defeat in the final of women’s singles.
In the men’s singles, Godwin Olofua, ranked third in Africa, had shockingly defeated top seed, Paul, in the semifinals to set up all Nigerian affairs final with Opeyori.
It was a thrilling encounter between two friends and mates but Opeyori won 21-17, 16-21, 21-17 to claim his maiden African title.
It was also an Nigerian affairs in the women’s doubles as the pair of Adesokan and Deborah Ukeh defeated Amin Christopher and Chinenye Ibere.
In the mixed doubles, Algeria’s duo of Koceila Mammeri and Linda Mazri successfully defended the title they won last year at home when they defeated Nigeria’s Enejo Abbah and Peace Orji 15-21, 21-16, 21-18.
Meanwhile, the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has expressed satisfaction with the organisation of the tournament and the performance of Team Nigeria.
He announced a reward of $100,00 for Team Nigeria for their efforts in the competition.
“The President of the Badminton Confederation of Africa just told me that this is the best tournament they have ever conducted; that’s is a every encouraging one.
are happy to grab the opportunity of hosting this event and our government will
continue to support badminton and of course sports in general,” he said.
However, the President of the Nigeria Badminton Federation, Francis Orbih, on behalf of the board, announced the conferment of Wike as the Patron of the BFN.
Adesokan described her performance as the best in her career. “Anytime I want to play against her I was always jittery but I told myself that had to change this time. I have done it, Kate will never beat me again,” she said.