President of the Badminton Federation of Nigeria, Francis Orbih says African number 1, Anuoluwapo Opeyori, is on the verge of breaking the country’s jinx in badminton at the Olympics.
Mr Orbih revealed in an exclusive interview with PREMIUM TIMES that it had always taken Nigeria a 12-year cycle to qualify for the Olympic Games since Kayode Akinsanya and Obigeli Olorunsola participated at their first, in Atlanta 1996 Olympics.
He said the four-time African champion is currently in Vietnam for a training tour.
The Badminton Confederation Africa (BCA) council member said, “Nigeria stands a chance of making it to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games; Anuoluwapo Opeyori is currently Africa number 1 and as we speak he just entered Vietnam today (Monday).
“After his tour in Vietnam, he will proceed to Malaysia and before the Lagos International Classics, he was in Denmark and that is the only way you can qualify for the Olympics.”
Orbih said with a matter of certainty, the federation will ensure the player gets the necessary exposure and makes history next year in Paris.
He said, “The Badminton Federation of Nigeria is going to do our best to make sure we get him to attend and play in as many competitions as possible that will help him garner enough points to qualify. It will be the first time in the history of the game where badminton will be going for the Olympics back to back; we have never done it before and Anu is the one that makes that feat a possibility.”
History of Nigeria Badminton players at the Olympic Games
Kayode Akinsanya (Men Singles Finish – 33), and Obigeli Olorunsola (Women Singles Finish – 17) Mixed Doubles Finish for both 17th.
Grace Daniel – Singles Finish 17th
(2020 Tokyo Olympics)
Godwin Olofua, and Anuoluwapo Opeyori (Men Doubles Finish – 9th)
Dorcas Adesokan (Women Singles Finish – 15)
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