Nigeria's strong hold on African badminton continued yesterday as the country's players did a logical follow-up to their exploits in the African Badminton Championship by winning the gold medal of the Mixed Team event at the ongoing 12th African Games in Morocco.
The all-conquering Nigerian team followed up their recent pattern by defeating Algeria 3-0 in the final played at Salle Ain Chock, Casablanca yesterday afternoon. It was with similar score line that Egypt and Uganda fell to the firepower of the racquets of the Nigerians.
The duo of Enejoh Abah and Peace Orji set the tone when they dispatched the Algerian combination of Kocella Mamaeri and Linda Maziri 2-1 in the Mixed Team event.
It was not an easy battle as the Algerians drew the first blood, winning the first game 21-16. The Nigerians fought back gamely in the second match to win 21-18. They also took the third game 21-19.
Anuoluwapo Opeyori took over and overcame Algeria's Youcef Medel Sabri with a 2-0 dispatch in the Men's Singles. The first match was hard-fought, but Opeyori won 23-21 before taking the second game with relative ease, winning 21-11.
Dorcas Adesokan completed the rout for Nigeria, beating Halla Bouksani 21-13, 21-14
President of Badminton Federation of Nigeria, Francis Orbih told THISDAY from Morocco that this gold medal is the first out of the six at stake.
"Our target here is to claim all the six gold medals at stake. We will start playing for the rest gold medal from Monday (today)," observed the president who has breadth fresh air into the sport since taking over the leadership of the federation two years ago.