Badminton: Olympics Qualification Top Priority As BFN Unveils 2020 Programme

The President of the Badminton Federation of Nigeria (BFN) Francis Orbih Esq has stated that the federation is working assiduously to ensure that its leading players qualify for this year’s Tokyo Olympic Games.

As part of the Federation’s 2020 programme, Africa’s reigning champion Anuolowapo Opeyori, his doubles partner Godwin Olofua and Dorcas Adesokan, who is also Africa’s reigning champion, will attend Olympic qualifiers in Estonia, Sweden, Uganda and Kenya, New Zealand, Finland, Netherlands and Croatia. The points garnered at these championships will propel the trio to Tokyo.

The President also stated that the Nigerian team would take part in the All Africa Senior Championship in February in a bid to qualify for the Thomas and Uber Cup. Nigerian players have not played in the Thomas Cup in 10 years, while they are yet to feature in the Uber Cup.

Some other events slated for the year are the Launch of the Shuttle time for Schools, 6th Lagos international Badminton Classics, 4th Mutual Benefits National Badminton Championship and 4th Katsina Golden Star Badminton Championship.

The Nigerian team is also expected to attend the West Africa Circuit of Ivory Coast, Ghana and Benin Internationals while the BFN will also continue its pursuit of scholarship for Nigerian players in China.

While assuring that the federation will introduce at least one age-grade national championship, Orbih also stated that the BFN will hold a technical course for coaches and umpires, as well as the National Badminton Festival and the inauguration of the Nigeria Badminton Hall of Fame.

Meanwhile, Adesokan begins 2020 as Africa number one female player, following the end of the year world ranking in 2019.

The Ogun State-born player is also ranked 82 in the world and number 71 in the race to Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Next to Adesokan in second place in Africa is Doha Hany from Egypt, who is ranked 110 in the world.

Ranked as number three female player in Africa is Kate Foo Kune of Mauritius, who is also ranked 114 in the world. Africa number 4 according to the ranking is Egyptian Hadia Hosny, who is ranked as 116 in the world while Ugandan Aisha Nakiyemba, ranked 137 in the world completes Africa’s top five.