As the third edition of Golden Star Katsina (GSK) National Badminton Championship enters its final day the Men’s Singles event is the major attraction.
The category, after some initial scares and jitters, saw the eventual emergence of what has long become a tradition; an Anuoluwapo Opeyori &, Godwin Olufua final match.
The pair of Tunde Bankole and Isaac Minaphee are joint third men singles’ winners after losing to Anu and Godwin respectively.
The Women’s Singles produced the finals of home girl, Ruth Chinenye Ibere (GSK) and comeback queen, Grace Gabriel of Plateau State. Aminat Funke Ilori (Ogun/FRSC) and Judith Aganyi (Federal Capital Territory) are bronze medallists after losing to Ruth and grace respectively.
The Men’s Doubles event produced the biggest upset of the tournament when the pair of a former African Number One player, Jinkam Ifraimu Bulus (Taraba) and Daniel Phillip (Adamawa) defeated the deadly pair of Anuoluwapo Opeyori (Lagos/FRSC) and Godwin Olofua (Lagos), currently ranked Number One pair in Nigeria and Africa 21-16, 16-21, 22-20 to set up a final against the pair of Eneojo J.Abah and Isaac Minaphee (Delta State).
The latter pair had earlier dispatched the young pair of Saddam Rufai Sidi and Khalil Shamsuddeen Safana (GSK), both junior international players.
The Women’s Doubles Finals is between Grace Gabriel / Ruth C.Ibere (Plateau/Karsna/FRSC) and Peace Orji Abah / Juliet Jacob (Delta/Taraba).
The first pair rode through to the Finals by beating Joy Marcus/Winner David (NS/GSK), while the second pair trounced the pair of Folashade Akinyemi/ Olajumoke Afolabi (KD/NA) to advance thence.
Mixed Doubles has a battle set between Nigeria’s Number One and Africa’s Number Two MXD pair of Eneojo Joseph Abah and his beautiful wife, Peace Orji-Abah (DT/RV) & Aliyu Alhaji Shehu / Maryam Umar (NG)
The bronze in the category was won by Jovita Anikwe / Queen Chibuzor (AN) and Akinsola Simeon/ Aminat Funke Ilori (OG/ FRSC).
The foray into the last eight and Semifinals by hitherto unknown players greatly underlines the development and progress the game has recorded in recent years through the regular national tournaments as organized by the current Board of the Federation in it’s effort to avail all players of the game the opportunity to sharpen their skills and get the necessary exposure and experience.
The level of this edition’s games, which was honoured by no less than 28 states and four national agencies, has remained very high.