Incredibly, the much anticipated Africa Senior Championship has eventually started in the 'Garden City' aka Port-Harcourt, Rivers State; Nigeria.
Fascinating outing for host team Nigeria including Egypt, Mauritius, Algeria, Ghana who all begins with winning waves at the Alfred Diete-Spiff Sports Complex in Moscow road, Port-harcourt that was filled with spectators from all works of life.
Nigeria athletes shown commitment after beating South-Africa (5-0) in the team mixed Double's games as they look forward to win more in the championship.
Likewise, Africa's number 1 ranking Mauritius maintain their winning streak as they white-wash Benin-republic in in a (5-0) humiliating encounter to show their superiority and readiness in retain their title.
Nigeria, Zimbabwe and South-Africa are in group D while defending champion Mauritius are the same group B with Zambia, Benin republic but Algeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Togo fall in group C; and Egypt, Uganda, DRC Congo are in group A.
The participating countries in this year’s championship are: Algeria, Benin, Botswana, Congo, Congo DRC, Eritrea, Egypt Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya, Mauritius, Seychelles, South Africa, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe and the hosts, Nigeria.
Nonetheless, Nigeria has presented 18 players in both the male and female categories, including the country’s male’s number one player, Anuoluwapo Opeyori, will represent Team Nigeria.
More also, others are Godwin Olofua, Eneojo Abah, Clement Krobakpo, Habeeb Bello, Aliyu Shehu, Gideon Babalola, Kayode Mope and Isaac Minaphee.
While in the female category favorite athlete Dorcas Adesokan including Deborah Ukeh, Peace Orji, Chinenye Ibere, Amin Christopher, Sofiat 0banisola, Ramatu Yakubu, Zainab Alabi and Augustina Sunday will also compete.
According to Coach Benjamin Orakpo while briefing the Media yesterday said, "Our player's are fully ready for the championships, of course, they are aware of the importance of the tournament.
“We are so very prepared. We have trained together over the last few weeks and we are ready to do exploits as host Nation.
"It's Olympic-point scoring event and the Badminton Federation of Nigeria is ready to allow he players to the Tokyo Olympics next year.
“Opeyori and Olofua are second and third respectively in Africa, while they are number one in the doubles event. We hope they can collectively gather enough points to make it to Tokyo.
"Although, it's a huge task but i believe our players have what it takes to excel in Tokyo; explaining that there six new mats already laid for the championship.
Rivers State Commissioner of Sports, Boma Iyaye has reiterated Governor Nyesom Wike’s commitment to ensure the event is a huge success.
BFN reputable and erudite leader (Barr.) Francis Orbirh has expressed optimism in the team as well as the entire CBA event which is billed to achieve historical fit.
Among dignitaries that graced the opening ceremon are: Mrs. Ipalibo Bangnigo (Rivers State Deputy Governor), Mr. Tukebana Bau (President Badminton Confederation of Africa), Hon. Boma Iyaye (Rivers State Commissioner of Sports), Mozez Praiz (BCA Ambassador) including BFN board members.
Adding spice to the cake was a music performance, entertaining mascot, cultural display, team match pass, drumming from police band and comedy.
Finally, BFN current board under the auspice of Barr. Francis Orbirh has revived the game in different way even bringing famous (BFA Ambassador) Mozez Praiz on a special appearance.
Actions continue tomorrow...stay tuned!