Nigeria's highest ranked star, Krobapor Clement proved bookmakers right at the weekend when he defeated Anuoluwapo Opeyori of Lagos State to win the men singles title at the First Katsina Golden Star Badminton Championship. The keenly contested game saw Clement coming from behind after losing the first game to beat his opponent by 14 to 21, 21 to 13 and 21 to 19.
The female singles event took the same bent with Nigeria's highest ranked player, Dorcas Adesokan of Ogun State beating Deborah Ukeh to the title. Clement and Adesokan also won the mixed doubles title.
Speaking after collecting his title, Clement said, "I want to thank my coaches, Bello and Ayo, and also my colleagues for motivating me. I was determined to win the National Championship despite the huge pressure. It is over and I thank God I won," he said.
On her part, Dorcas praised the Badminton Federation board led by Francis Orbih for reviving the National Championship, which was comatose for over four years.
"I am delighted that the National Championship is back thanks to the President Francis Orbih. Talking about my victory, I want to believe that my level of exposure gave me an advantage over my opponents," she said.
In the women's doubles, the duo of Augustina Sunday and Zainab Momoh beat Deborah Ukeh and Peace Orji 23 to 21, 21 to 16 to take the trophy, just as Katsina fans celebrated as the home boys, Jimkan and Menaphee defeated Habeeb and Usman 21 to 18, 21 to 17 to win the Men's doubles event.
Speaking at the end of competition, patron of Golden Star Badminton Club, Katsina, Malik Anas said the National Championship would now be an annual event
"We are delighted that 26 states and four military agencies took part in this championship, which is the first edition. I want to tell you that I am discussing with the board of the Badminton Federation to make this an annual event, which means 2018 will be bigger and better," he said.