President of the Badminton Federation of Nigeria (BFN) Francis Orbih says the aim of the country is to host and win the forthcoming All Africa Senior Championships.
Port Harcourt will host the continental showpiece tournament for the first time in Nigeria in 19 years, from 22nd to 28th April, 2019 at Alfred Diete-Spiff Sports Complex.
In a media parley with journalists in Port Harcourt on Wednesday, the BFN boss also informed that Team Nigeria, who are ranked as Africa’s second best side, are already in camp at the University of Port Harcourt High Performance Centre preparing seriously for the tournament.
“We intend to host to win, which of course calls for serious preparation to be able to achieve this,” Orbih said.
“So we are putting in our best, our national team has been in camp at the High Performance Centre in the University of Port Harcourt, and they are going to be in camp till the championship.
“Like you all know, last year we had the 1st Rivers National Badminton Championship which was basically a kind of test-run for this championship, apart from using it as an opportunity to prepare our players and be able to come up with our team.”
The BFN boss further informed Nigeria will be fielding a strong 18-man team for the tournament.
“As the host country, we’ve entered 9 men players and 9 women players. So, in all we have a contingent of 18 players and 3 coaches.”
18 countries including Africa’s No 1 Mauritius, Algeria, Benin Republic, Egypt, Ghana, Botswana, Eritrea, Togo, Uganda, Kenya, Seychelles, South Africa and hosts, Nigeria have registered for the All Africa Senior badminton Championships, which will serve as a qualifier for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.