BADMINTON: Adesokan Surprised at Ease of Becoming African Champion (AUDIO)

Newly crowned African Badminton singles champion Dorcas Adesokan has expressed surprise at the relative ease of her first ever victory over perennial rival and Africa’s top-ranked female player Kate Foo Kune in the final of the All Africa Senior Badminton Championship which concluded in Port Harcourt last Sunday.

Defending champion Kune, winner of this Championship in 2014, 2017 and 2018 held a 4-0 head-to-head record against Adesokan ahead of the final with the Mauritian’s last victory over the Nigerian coming in the final of this event in 2018 in Algiers where she triumphed 21-16, 21-19.

Having lost to Kune on multiple occasions, Adesokan said she anticipated a tough encounter in the final but was pleasantly surprised by how easily she clinched her maiden African title with a straight sets 21-12, 21-13 victory at the end.

“It makes me feel so great and good because I was not even expecting it to come like this,” Adesokan told about emerging African champion for the first time.

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“Not that I [was] not hoping for gold but not as easy as this, so I am so grateful and delighted because it was two straight [sets]. I was even expecting the game to be tough, maybe 1-1, then maybe the 3rd set I’m going to win but it was even two straight sets so it was very easy, no much pressure.”

Gaining revenge for her loss to Kune in the final last year wasn’t the primary driving factor for her triumph according to Adesokan who said she studied her opponent’s weaknesses in order to devise a game plan that helped her stop the flow of losses and record a first-ever win over the Mauritian.

“Really, I [was] not really taking revenge, but I really wanted to take the gold and talking about her, I have played her several times and I had to watch our video like when we were playing and I discovered mistakes [in her game].

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“She is a left-handed player and for left-handed players the forehand use to be very weak because their power is on their overhead so I tried to work on that and I noticed she is a crossplayer – she hardly plays straight shots so then I focused on that, then I noticed she’s fast, so I needed to be faster and I have to recover from her shots quickly.

“She used to win narrowly [against me] and I decided to work on her weaknesses so I think that is why I won.”

Having achieved a long-cherished dream of becoming African champion, Adesokan says she hopes to continue her winning run at the Total BWF Sudirman Cup in China where she would be part of the team representing Africa at the tournament later this month.