Ist Rivers Governor's National Badminton ended in grand style
At last, the first edition of Rivers Governor's Badminton National Open championship has finally drawn the cotton to an end as the (4) days event which featured Bayelsa, Gombe, Delta, Ogun, Cross River, Oyo, Abia, Taraba, Benue, Anambra, Abuja, Ondo, Enugu, Kwara, Lagos, Kastina, Edo, Bauchi, Adamawa, Ekiti, Kwara, Yobe, Niger and host Rivers ended in a wonderful note.
However, the 155 athletes that registered online before the tournament began at Alfred Diette-Spiff, Civic center off Moscow road, Port-harcourt; have gave good account of themselves in their various categories.
Interestingly, the Rivers government has attracted so many individuals as a result of her collaboration with BFN throughout program. Besides, Amasti Cultural Club from the Opopo Kingdom, trilled the fans at the closing ceremony.
Governor Ezenwo Nyesom Wike who was fully represented by her Deputy, Dr. Mrs. Ipilo Baniga Ibalibo and other state delegates gave the event a colorful evening as everyone where specially entertained.
"Rivers state government has done so much for Sports development but we're ready to do more in order to keep Sports alive" she maintained.
Meanwhile, in the Mixed Double's match, (Oyo) Peace Orji paired with (Rivers) Enijoh Habba to defeat the duo of Yunusa Momoh and Ramatu Yakubu in a 21-16, 21-17 game.
Nevertheless, in a keenly contested match, Clement Krobakpo and Isaac Mianaphee of Rivers combine force to beat (Fct) Jiakam Ifrahim and Ola Fagbemi of Oyo state in the Men's Double which ended thus: 23-21, 17-21, 22-20.
"We're glad winning the title because defeating Africa no 1 is exciting despite playing our best"
"Determination and handwork gave us the chance which we long for since we started playing Badminton; and we target more victories at the forthcoming championship" Clement and Mainaphee.
In the female category, top seed Docas of (Ogun) sweep past (Edo) Deborah Ukeh in 21-14, 18-21, 21-17 encounter while Nigeria number (2) two Peace Orji with Deborah Ukeh secured a victory over Tosin Atolagbe/Amin Christopher.
Female best player, told www.titansportsnig.com "Becoming a champion is easy but remaining there is really tough, i'm look forward to win more medals through handwork" Docas Adesokun summarized.
Amazing performance from both Nigeria favorite male player's in the Men's Singles finals that favored the Anu Oluwapo Opeyori who competed against Godwin Olufua despite representing the same 'State of Excellence' in the championship.
In the he Wheelchair finals, Dickson Dada claimed victory from Victor Isurumba in their clash.
Aside form Medal presentation, trophies and other benefits received by the winners, they had the privilege of snapping with the Badminton legend Tamuno Gibson as well as the NFN boss Barr. Francis Orbih.
Speaking to Journalist, "I'm grateful to his Excellency who has immensely contributed to this huge event, adding without a doubt, Championship like this will push a player's to Coaches, even Administrators for better performance.
He continued, "We look forward to All Africa Senior Championship which will be hosted in this epic facility, we have confidence that Rivers state is capable of hosting it"
"Appreciating the good display of sportsmanship from player's, coaches, officials and administrators during the program" he finalized.
BFN legendary Tamuno Gibson told us, "As a legend isn't an easy task, just that honoring me today makes me feel delighted, its the best moment of my career"
Adding, i'm happy the BFN president like the game and he has really done so much to build the game"
"As a role model to the upcoming once, i want to train Champions like me in the nearest future" he concluded.
Conclusively, the event was brought to a close shorting after the recitation of Nigeria National Anthem with raffle draws where lucky winners took home bags of Rice, Blender, Chargeable fans, Torch light, Pressing iron etc.
Docas, Minaphy, Anu, Kroakpo, Peace, Olofua, Jimkam advanced to finals at Ist Rivers Govt. Badminton Open
Glorious day it was for the Badminton Federation of Nigeria as the leadership witnessed a major victory at the NOC election conducted yesterday in Adamawa State, Yola; where their President Barr. Francis Orbih was successfully elected into the post of 2nd Vice-President.
Meanwhile, the BFN boss who arrived earlier today at the venue of the 1st Rivers Governor's Badminton championship, seems a major motivator for his athletes; as favorite champions like Docas Adeshokun, Anu Opeyori emerged victorious during their Single's games.
Nevertheless, the due of Ola Fagbemi Jifrahim of Oyo state has loss (2-1) to Isaac Minaphy and Clement Kropakpo from Rivers during the Men's doubles match.
According to BFN board member, Engr. Tahiru Doma (BFN South-South Chairman) while briefing news men, "I'm part of those who revived the game, also we have gone to (7) local governments and different schools in order to promote the game by introducing it to individuals.
Also, we look forward to increase the 6 courts to 9 standard ones as the All African Badminton Championship approaches and we have organized this event to honor our legend Tanmuno Gibson" he finalized.
The Men's Doubles finals, Rivers duo Clement Kropako/Isaac Minaphy will slot it out against Jimkam/Ola of Fct while Anu Opeyori (Lagos) is playing against his counterpart Godwin Olofua in the Men's Single's.
In the Mixed Double's, female finest, Peace Orji/Enejoh Habba as peer will stand against Ramatu Yakubu/Yunusa Momoh while (Ogun) Docas Adesokun will prove her worth when she play against (Edo) Deborah Ukeh in the Women Singles.
Meanwhile, Nigeria finest Anu Opeyori said, "My fans should look out for my best tomorrow" assuring Nigerians that they will put in their best as the All Africa Badminton Championship kick off in 2019.
"We have acclimatized to the court here in Port-harcout but our best is yet to come" he added.
In the female category, Docas told www.titansportsnig.com "I'm going for Gold but losing in the Double's semi-final was quiet painful although, it's the first time we're pairing.
"If we train more together, we will excel" she concluded.
Talking to Badminton former Champion and Olympian Mrs. Solaja Oby, she expressed her gratitude to the host and advised the upcoming athletes to be disciple, focus, trust their coaches and remain passionate, zealous to the game.
"As a test run tournament, a lot has been achieved but i'm urging BFN to continue developmental programs which will enhance our athletes performance, because during my time as a player, there was so many championship.
Adding "BFN should also partner with those who can carry the player's along in order to give them more opportunities" Solaja Oby maintained.
In summary, the closing ceremony will begin by 2pm on Saturday in Alfred Deitte-Spiff at Civic Center, as the Rivers state Governor Dr. Ezenywa Nyesom Wike will grace the remarkable event with his colleagues from Government House including Musical entertainment, raffle draws, cash prizes earmarked to be won.
Trilling and exciting moments for all Badminton fanatics as their number (5) seed clocks 40 years toady in the venue of the ongoing National Sports Festival - NSF games this morning.
She goes with the name Funke but her contributions to the game can never be over-emphasized, even as she has won bronze medal in the mixed double event at the NSF.
The Kogi state athlete from Ijumu local government got inspired since 2004 by Ex-int'l and National player Mrs. Omonehin Mariah whom helped her develope her skills and zeal for the game.
Interestingly, she's working with Nigeria Police as a sergent in Lagos where she resides, but her committment to the game has been tremdious.
Mrs. Funke Aiyenugba Akingbelin a mother of eleven-year-old, equally wants to give her son a fare treatment, said; "He has to take my step, because i started early, now i'm aging, it's their generation that will take over from us", Akingbehin added.
Aside from the surprise annoucement to the entire public about her Birthday, she was given the podium to celebrate on for few miniutes. Indeed, there's life and fun in Sports but as the saying goes, "Life starts at 40".
The vibrant and friendly athlete had a remarkable and unforgetable moment with her folks and family at the package 'B' of the National Stadium, Abuja.
The Library and Information Science graduate from Kaduna State Polytechic has started working on their game ahead of the next week championship in Port-Harcourt and All Africa Games.
According to the Champion and celebrant, "I'm grateful to our Badminton Federation President, Mr. Francis Orbih who always look out for our welfare, thank God for the gift of life and especially my Husband who hasn't never relent in supporting me despite the fact that he's not in my field, he encourage me a lot" she summarized.
In conclusion, she told www.titansportsnig.com , "My advice for the upcoming player's they should remain hardworking, cute as player's and focus in order to get to their climax not wondering out their target" Akingbehin ended