Nigeria continued its dominance of the Para Games as the nation’s athletes won a total of thirteen medals at the just concluded All Africa Para-Badminton Championship held in Kampala to top the medals table. Nigeria represented by highly rated athletes clinched eight gold, two silver and three bronze medals at the championship held at MTN Arena, Lugogo Stadium, Kampala, Uganda.
Nnanna Jeremiah Chigozie and Bolaji Mariam Eniola won three gold medals each to replicate their performance at the Uganda International Para-Badminton Championship held at the same venue last week. Chigozie and Eniola subdued the pairs of Mohammed Ismail of Egypt and Martha Cheve of Zambia 21-8, 21-5 to clinch gold in the mixed doubles SL3-SU5.
In the Women’s doubles SL3-SU5 final, Eniola paired Okoro Chiyere to beat Sumini Mutesi-Rose Nansereko of Uganda in two straight sets, 21-5, 21-8. The golden girl, Eniola sent home girl Elizabeth Mwesigwa of Uganda packing in the Women’s Singles SL3 21-9, 21-4 while Chiyere Okoro edged out Morenike Oloutou of Benin Republic 21-11, 19-21, 21-16 in the final of Women’s Singles SL4+SU5.
Chigozie exercised his dominance on Hassan Muniru of Ugandan 21-14, 21-5 in the Men’s singles SL4 final while the combination of Olanipekun Gbenga and Akpan James recorded another gold for Nigeria in the men’s doubles SL3-SL4 beating Hassan Muniru and David Mukisa 21-9, 21-9. Ijeoma Gift lost to Shaimaa Abdelatif of Egypt 14-21, 10-21 in the Women’s Singles WH2 final while it was all Nigerians affairs in the SL3 Men’s singles final as Chukwuebuka Eze defeated Olanipekun Gbenga 21-19, 14-21, 21-17. Chigozie and Eniola won Gold in the Mixed doubles SL3-SU5 while Okoro Chiyere clinched gold in the Women’s Singles SL4+SU5 Combine.
In the Men’s SL3-SL4 doubles, Olanipekun Gbenga and Eze Chukwuebuka won Gold for Nigeria while Eze combined with Chigozie to pick gold in the SU5 Men’s doubles.
Speaking on the success recorded by the Nigerian team, president of the Badminton Federation of Nigeria, Francis Orbih, commended the Nigeria government for the support given to the federation which enabled the country’s contingent to participate in both the international and continental tournaments. He stated that he was particularly happy with the performance of the team at the two championships which were qualifiers for Paris 2024 Paralympics. “The federation is determined to ensure that Nigeria continues to present quality representation at all competitions”, Francis said.