ALL AFRICA SENIOR CHAMPIONSHIP - DAY 4: Nigeria dethrone Mauritius to emerge 2019 CBA Mixed-double champions
It was all glamour as the hosts of the 2019 All Africa Senior Badminton Championships gave a good account of themselves in what can be described as a keenly contested game in the mixed team final event that saw Anuoluwapo Opeyori and Dorcas Adesokan narrowly defeat the stubborn duo of Julien Paul and Kate Foo Kune from Mauritius 21-19, 21-19,
The match lived up to its billing as both teams put up an entertaining performance as well as showing the stuff they are made off.
Reacting to the victory, Team Nigeria head Coach Benjamin Orakpo said that "We are ready to make Africa proud, adding that player's were carefully selected and presented to the Badminton Federation of Nigeria"
Elsewhere, the opponent Chief coach expressed dissatisfaction, "It was a vey good and competitive match but i'm not satisfied with the officiating.
He added, the player's are good but they're so bias, because every host country do this, likewise if my country host will have to win"
The host team made sure they held strong to emerge champions of the Team finals events with a 2-3 sweet victory over a resilient Mauritius.
In addition, the two teams tied at 2-2 on major scores in the final team game - the Mixed Doubles sent the Alfred Diette Spiff Civic Centre in raptures as the host country recorded an intensive (19-21, 19-21) to triumph to edge Mauritius.
Nigeria's Anuoluwapo Opeyori paired alongside Dorcas Adesokan in what was an extremely close two sets against Mauritius' pair of Julien Paul and Kate Foo Kune.
Team Nigeria started strong with a statement performance in the men's singles when the country's number one, Anuolwapo Opeyori showed immense superiority with his (11-21, 16-21) straight set win over Mauritius' Aatish Lubah.
Africa and Mauritius number one, Kate Foo Kune brought the game back on parity after a smart 21-12, 21-16 display against Deborah Ukeh.
The game was decided at (1-1) before the men's doubles of Aatish Lubah/Julien Paul saw off Clement Krobakpo/Enejo Abah in another straight set victory to give Mauritius a (2-1) lead.
Meanwhile, Deborah Ukeh/Dorcas Adesokan brought Team Nigeria back on a (2-2) parity when they defeated Aurelie Allet/ Lorna Bodha 8-21, 10-21 in the women's doubles before a hyper ending to a thrilling decider in the mixed doubles which saw Nigeria edge one of the favorites at the All Africa Senior Championships 2019.
Conclusively, the memorable evening was colorful with huge home support from the crowd and Kwara, Enugu, Rivers, Ogun, Fct and BFN Pioneers all in attendance alongside raffle draws that was anchor by notable MC.
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!
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