The Nigerian Badminton Team lost in all their 3 finals today in the just concluded African Badminton Championship which took place in Cairo, Egypt, with lots of memories gathered from the experience.
Nigeria’s Anu Juwon Opeyori lost to George Julien Paul of Mauritius 16-21, 21-16 and 21-23 in the men singles to finish second and same was the case of Dorcas Adesokan who also lost to Kate Foo Kune of Mauritius by 19-21, 16-21 in the female singles.
In the Women doubles, Nigeria pair also lost to the Egyptian pair of Doha Hany and Hadia Hosny by 14-21, 16-21 ending the championship with an all round silver medal.
No doubt, the Nigerian sets were gallant in defeat. Particularly as they played under fatigue, following a thorny journey that started off with a deliberate delay of issuance of visas to the team by the Egyptian Embassy in Nigeria.
The second face of the challenge was the flight delay due to bad weather, and this resulted in the team missing its connecting flight from Addis Ababa to Cairo. A rescheduled flight saw the team arrive in the wee hours of Friday February 14, and heading straight into a marathon game.
No doubt, the effect of fatigue, mental and physical stress played out in the performances of the athletes, even though they pretended as though it never existed. But they fought gallantly and eventually bowed to their counterparts, as it was obvious that nature cannot be cheated.
However, Nigeria’s Dorcas Adesokan who won silver in the women singles is still on course for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics as she will be required to play a few qualifiers, while Anu Opeyori and Godwin Olofua will have to accomplish an uphill task to qualify for the global event.
It is also sad and unfortunate to note that, the late issuance of visas to the athletes from Nigeria denied the entire team their opportunity to participate Thomas and Uber Cup qualifiers (Team event) which started and ended before their arrival.
The team will be expected to return to Nigeria within the week, to start plans and preparations ahead of other qualifiers that could aid the qualifying process for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.