The climax of the 3rd Golden Star Katsina National Championship was as explosive as it was exciting.
The Final matches heralded some predictable and some brand new champions. The Men’s Singles event produced Anuoluwapo Opeyori (LA/FRSC), winner of the last edition and still very much Nigeria Number One. His teammate, friend and fiercest rival, Godwin Olofua (LA) could not play the scheduled Final owing to ill health.
The excitement that greeted the end of the match that produced the Comeback Queen, the gorgeous Grace Gabriel (PL) as the winner will keep resounding for a long time to come.
She beat homegirl, GSK’s Ruth C.Ibere 2-1 to clinch the coveted trophy and cash prize. Assisted from the sidelines by the former Nigerian International, Victor Makanju, she was absolutely astounding and very much the old former African Number One Women’s Singles player.
Earlier, the same Grace Gabriel had teamed up with the same Ruth C.Ibere of GSK in the Women’s Doubles category to defeat the pair of Peace Orji-Abah and Juliet Jacob (OY/TR) to win the category’s gold.
The Men’s Doubles event was won by former African Number One, Jinkam I.Bulus (TR) who paired with young Daniel Phillip (AD) to produce a great blend of experience and youthful strength to defeat Eneojo Abah and Isaac Minaphee (DT) and send a clear challenge to the teeming young players around.
The Mixed Doubles event saw the consolidation of the dominance that the pair of Eneojo Abah (DT) and his beautiful wife Peace Orji-Abah has enjoyed in recent years. Ranked Number 1 in Nigeria and Number 2 on the continent, this pair ensured that the pair of Aliyu Alhaji Shehu and Maryam Umar (NG) could only take the silver back home.
The standard of the game was impressively high and the camaraderie and sportsmanship exhibited during the championship made all the efforts pumped into the preparations and actual execution of the tournament worthwhile.
The closing ceremony was graced by an impressive number of dignitaries among which was the representative of the Emir of Katsina, the Yandakan Katsina and District Head of Dutsinma, Alhaji Sada Mohammed Sada and a host of other dignitaries.
Delivering his speech before the presentation of prizes to the winners, the President of the Badminton Federation of Nigeria, Francis Orbih, Esq. expressed his board’s appreciation to the management of the Golden Star Katsina Badminton Club and paid glowing tribute to its able founder, Grand Patron and Financier, Alhaji Malik Anas for his enormous and unquantifiable contributions to the growth and development of the game in the country.
Presentations were made of medals, trophies and prize monies to the winners and two Special Awards were handed out by the Badminton Federation of Nigeria to Alhaji Malik Anas and the Golden Star Badminton Club.