Ahead of the upcoming 2019 All Africa Senior Badminton Championships, the Badminton Federation of Nigeria (BFN) has declared its readiness to host and win the continental showpiece.
The 2019 All Africa Senior Badminton Championship which will feature 18 African countries, including Nigeria is scheduled to hold in Port Harcourt, Rivers, from April 22 to April 28.
Mr Austine Balewa, Secretary General, BFN told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Abuja that preparations for the participating athletes and general logistics were in top gear.
He added that 18 national badminton players, consisting of nine male and female players were currently in camp at the High Performance Centre at the University of Port Harcourt.
“The national Badminton players are currently in camp at the High Performance Centre in the University of Port Harcourt,
“We have nine male and nine female players in camp.
“So I can assure you we are hosting this continental championship to win and not just to make up the numbers,
“Based on the records of our players, we are the best in mixed double, second best in men’s single, second best in women’s single and the best in men’s doubles, so we are not taking this competition lightly,’’he said.
Balewa also said that the competition will serve as part of the qualifiers for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
“Incidentally, the championship is one of our Olympic qualifiers for Tokyo 2020 so we are taking it very seriously.
“We are looking forward to ensuring that we gather enough points in this particular championship to enable us gather points to qualify for the Olympics, ‘’he added.
Balewa told NAN that the BFN President, Mr Francis Orbih had promised to organise a hitch-free and glamorous competition in line with international best practice.
NAN reports that no fewer than 18 countries have registered for the championship, which will see the best men and ladies badminton players on the African continent competing for glory.
The participating countries include; Algeria, Benin, Botswana, Congo, Congo DRC, Eritrea, Egypt Ghana and Ivory Coast.
Others are: Kenya, Mauritius, Seychelles, South Africa, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe and host, Nigeria.
Meanwhile, the BFN has released the list of 18 players (male and female) for the championships, which includes Nigeria’s top ranked male and female players Anu Opeyori and Dorcas Adesokan respectively.
Team Nigeria full list
1, Anuoluwapo Opeyori
2, Godwin Olofua
3, Enejoh Abah
4, Clement Krobakpo
5, Habeeb Bello
6, Aliyu Shehu
7, Gideon Babalola
8, Kayode Mope
9, Isaac Minaphee
1, Dorcas Adesokan
2, Deborah Ukeh
3, Peace Orji
4, Amin Christopher
5, Chinenye Ebere
6, Ramatu yakubu
7, Zainab Alabi
8, Augustina Sunday
9, Sofiat Obanisola
1, Benjamin Orakpo (Head Coach), George Shitta,
Susan Agboola. ((NAN)