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Team Nigeria wins All Africa Senior Badminton Championships


[FILE] Badminton

Team Nigeria has been declared winner of the All Africa Senior Badminton Championships, which ended at the Diette-Spiff Civic Centre, Port Harcourt, Rivers State yesterday.

The country’s flag bearers won four gold, two silver and one bronze medals to finish top of the medals table. Earlier, the team had won the most coveted gold medal in the team event on Thursday and followed that up with further three gold medals in the individual championships.

Nigeria’s top seeds, Anuoluwapo Opeyori and Dorcas Adesokan created upsets when they toppled Africa’s top seeds, Georges Paul and Kate Foo Kune from Mauritius in the men 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 around, who showed grit to beat her in 21-12, 21-13 in the final of women’s singles.

In the final of the men’s singles, Godwin Olofua, seeded three, had shocked top seed, Paul, in the semifinals to set up an all-Nigerian duel against Opeyori. Opeyori eventually won the tie 21-17, 16-21, 21-17 to claim his first African title.

In the women’s doubles, the pair of Nigeria’s Adesokan and Deborah Ukeh beat their compatriots, Amin Christopher and Chinenye Ibere to claim the title.

The mixed doubles event was won by Algeria’s Koceila Mammeri and Linda Mazri, after successfully defended their title, beating Nigeria’s Enejo Abbah and Peace Orji in 15-21, 21-16, 21-18.

Meanwhile, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, who was satisfied with the performance of Team Nigeria and the organisation of the championships, later announced a reward of $100,000 for the country’s representatives’ efforts at the championships.

“The President of the Badminton Confederation of Africa just told me that this is the best tournament they have ever conducted. That is a every encouraging one. We are happy to grab the opportunity of hosting this event and our government will continue to support badminton and of course sports in general,” Wike said.

President of the Nigeria Badminton Federation (BFN), Francis Orbih, announced the conferment of Wike as the Patron of the BFN on behalf of the board.

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