Badminton: Federation to promote game at grassroot – BFN President

The President, Badminton Federation of Nigeria, BFN, Mr. Francis Orbih has restated the determination and commitment of the Federation to promote the game at all levels just as the current Nigeria number one Men’s Singles Badminton player and reigning African Champion, Anuoluwapo Opeyori clinched the coveted fourth Edition of the Mutual Benefits National Badminton Championship held in Lagos.

Orbih who stated this in his message at the closing ceremony of the Championship said the Federation would not relent in taking the game to high level, especially at the grassroot.

The BFN President appreciated the sponsor and co-sponsor of the event, Mutual Benefits Assurance PLC and GIG Group as “steadfast pillars of support for badminton in Nigeria”.

He commended the players “…on your dedication, resilience and unwavering commitment to the sport.”

Orbih described the overall turnout as quite impressive and the morale of the players high and the quality of play commendable.

Highlights of the closing ceremony was the demonstration of support for the game and players of Badminton in Nigeria as the Executive Director, Technical, Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc gifted Anuoluwapo Opeyori, the current Nigeria No 1 Men’s Singles player and reigning African Champion, a Personnel Accident Insurance to the tune of N5 Million which covers injuries, medical expenses, permanent disability and even death (which is not prayed for).

In all, 5 events of the championship were decided as Anuoluwapo Opeyori of Lagos defeated Victor Ikechukwu (Rivers) 22 – 20; 19 – 21; 21 – 17 to win the Men’s Singles Final and also emerge winner of 3 out of the 4 editions of the championship.

To reach the finals,
Anuoluwapo Opeyori defeated Ibrahim Ahmed (Bauchi) 21 – 18; 21 – 16 while Victor Ikechukwu sent out Aliyu Shehu (Niger) 21 – 10; 21 – 17.

The Finals of the Men’s Doubles saw a repeat of the Men’s Singles between Lagos and Rivers States as Lagos emerged victorious when the pairs of Anuoluwapo Opeyori and Daniel Christopher defeated Victor Ikechukwu and Emmanuel Joseph at 14 – 21; 21 – 19; 21 – 18.

The finalists had earlier defeated
Abdullahi Bala and Mubarak Salisu (Yobe) at 21 – 19; 21 – 12 and AbdulMalik Baba Ibrahim and Yinusa Momoh (FCT) at 21 – 13; 21 – 17 in the Men’s Doubles category Semi-Finals.

In the Women’s Singles final, it was all an Edo State affairs as the runner-up of the last Edition, Ruth Ebere defeated Deborah Ukeh 21-16; 21–19 to emerge winner of the 4th edition.

Ruth Ebere edged out the former national and African champion, Adesokan Dorcas at 21 – 9; 21 – 19 semi final while Deborah Ukeh defeated Sofiat Obanisola at 21 – 9; 21 – 14 to book a place in the Finals.

In the Women’s doubles Semi-Finals, Grace Gabriel & Ramatu Yakubu(FCT) defeated Ruth Ebere & Deborah Ukeh (Edo) at 21 – 14; 21 – 19 to advance to Finals while Sofiat Obanisola & Zainab Alabi (Rivers) defeated
Adesokan Dorcas & Ilori Aminat(Ogun) at 24 – 22; 21 – 19 to complete the train.

Grace Gabriel & Ramatu Yakubu (FCT) won the Women Doubles Final defeating Sofiat Obanisola & Zainab Alabi (Rivers)at 21 – 16; 23 – 21.

The Finals of the Mixed Doubles category saw the emergence of Babatunde Ayomide & Adekunle Oluwaferanmi (Kwara) as winners after defeating Usman Qudus & Tiamiyu Salawat (Oyo) at 17 – 21; 21 – 18; 22 – 20.

Babatunde Ayomide & Adekunle Oluwaferanmi (Kwara) had earlier defeated Ganiyu Suleiman (Rivers) & Sunday Queen (Imo) 13 – 21; 24 – 22; 21 – 8 to advance to the Finals while Usman Qudus & Tiamiyu Salawat (Oyo) defeated Yinusa Momoh & Ramatu Yakubu (FCT) 21 – 18; 21 – 19.

In all, report says the spirit of oneness and friendship could be felt in the air and the players could be seen with fellow players catching up on “long” period absence.

Officials of the Badminton Federation of Nigeria were on ground to see to the flawless execution of the championship.

Matches were held in the various Events with some results predictable while some just heralded the “arrival” or return of some players.

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