Caretaker Committee Chairman of the Nigeria Badminton Federation (NBF) Francis Orbih has said that the unexpected feat of
Anuoluwapo Opeyori at the All Africa Individual Badminton Championships in Kampala, Uganda was quite emotional for him.
Opeyori who travelled for the tournament under a very challenging circumstances flew Nigeria’s flag high after he emerged top at the end of the competition.
His victory in the eastern African country became the first major win for Nigeria since the crisis in the administration of badminton ensued late last year.
He was the country’s sole entry after his doubles’ partner; Godwin Olofua failed to show up having travelled unexpectedly to Qatar.
Opeyori then became the country’s sole representative and was at the brink of not attending owing to the funding challenge.
There has been no executive board owing to issues generated at the Federation Elections of the Badminton federation in the country at the moment and the leadership of a caretaker committee had to get Opeyori a flight ticket to attend the championship.
Not featuring in competitions had already taken its toll on the ranking of Nigerian players. Opeyori had to attend alone without any coach or support staff.
It was a gamble that paid off.
A highly elated Orbih under whose leadership as President of BFN has seen the sport witnessed a huge turnaround broke the pleasant news on Sunday night.
In his brief reaction on how the victory was achieved, he said it was quite emotional for him.
“It was quite emotional for me.”
He avenged his loss in the 2020 final with a thrilling 21-14, 23-21 win over Brian Kasirye of Uganda.
It his second individual gold medal at the event after taking the 2019 title following a win against countryman Godwin Olofua in that final.
Opeyori had beaten 2017 champion Adel Hamek of Algeria in convincing fashion with a 21-18, 21-18 semi-final triumph in the men’s singles.
On his path to the semi final he beat home boy, Israel Wanagalya of Uganda 18-21, 21-10 and 21-11 to get a 2-1 win having come back from a set down.