New stars were thrown up as the curtains fell on the 3rd Mutual Benefits National Badminton Championship.
Kwara State’s combination of Zainab Damilola Alabi and Sofiyat Arinola Obanishola emerged as the women’s double champions ending the previous reign of Ruth Ebere and Augustina Sunday.
In achieving the status of new champions, they contended with the firepower of Africa’s number one women’s player, Dorcas Adesokan who teamed up with Asisat Ogunkanbi to form a potent force for the Ogun State team.
It is not only in the Women’s Doubles that change occurred. The Men’s Singles event brought about the reversal of the 2nd edition’s outcome, where Nigeria and Africa’s Number One player, Anuoluwapo Opeyori defeated his fiercest rival, fellow Lagos state player, Nigeria’s Number two and Africa’s Number three player, Godwin Olufua.
Opeyori thus regained the crown he lost last year when Olofua defeated him.
In the Mixed Doubles, marital prowess reigned supreme as Enejo Abah teamed with his wife, Peace to beat FCT pair of Yunusa Momoh and Ramatu Yakubu to add to their collection of Mixed Doubles gold medals.
Last year the couple beat the FCT duo in the same final event.
The Men’s Doubles Finals saw Nigeria’s and Africa’s Number One Men’s pair of, Anuoluwapo Opeyori and Godwin Olofua of Lagos State win 2-1 over Eneojo Joseph Abah (Rivers) and Isaac Murphy Minaphee (Taraba) to retain the gold won last year in the category.
In the Women’s Singles event, the reigning Queen of African Badminton, Nigeria’s and Africa’s Number One, Dorcas Ajoke Adesokan of Ogun State dispatched Ruth Chinenye Ibere of Katsina State to retain the gold medal she has won from the inception of the tournament.
In his speech at the end of the tournament, the Chairman of Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc, the sponsors of the event, Dr. Akin Ogunbiyi congratulated all the athletes in attendance, and the Board of the BFN under the able leadership of Francis Orbih, for it’s “hard work, resilience and consistency.”
The President of the Badminton Federation of Nigeria, Francis Orbih, expressed his board’s gratitude and appreciation to the sponsors of the event, especially the Chairman of the Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc for keeping to their word of making the event an annual one.