Connect with us

Olympics

Opeyori becomes Nigeria’s first back-to-back qualifier as Badminton Olympic qualifiers are finalised

Published

on

Anuoluwapo Opeyori is one of the 173 badminton players who have qualified for a spot at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. His qualification means that he is the first Nigerian player to qualify for two Olympic Games. He featured at the delayed Tokyo 2020 and will thus made a back-to-back appearance.

The list of qualifiers has been released by the Badminton World Federation (BWF). This includes 166 regular quota places (83 men and 83 women), three universality places from the IOC Tripartite Commission (two men and one woman), plus an additional place for IOC Refugee Olympic Team athlete Dorsa Yavarivata,  whose participation was confirmed earlier this month in a special announcement by the IOC

Opeyori dominated Africa in the men’s singles from 2019 till date winning four African Championship titles and two African Games titles.

An elated Francis Orbih, President of Badminton Federation of Nigeria (BFN)  remarked on Saturday that Anuoluwapo Opeyori has broken the jinx in Nigeria badminton by making it to the Olympic Games in Paris.

Orbih said Opeyori’s qualification shows that the current leadership of BFN’s target of producing world class players is beginning to manifest.

Advertisement

He revealed that BFN will leave no stone unturned in supporting the dreams and aspirations of the young players in making podium finishes.

Orbih said, “History has been made in badminton as Anuoluwapo Opeyori has secured a spot at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games with the release made by the Badminton World Federation (BWF).

“I am excited and full of joy because Anuoluwapo Opeyori is the first Nigerian badminton player to feature in the men’s singles at the Olympic Games and also the first Nigerian to attend two Olympics and back to back.

“Three years ago, it was Dorcas Adesokan in the women’s singles and Opeyori with his partner Godwin Olofua in the men’s doubles that made it to the Olympic Games in Tokyo. Today, Anuoluwapo Opeyori will represent Nigeria in the men’s singles; the leadership of BFN and Nigeria are proud of him”.

Orbih charged Anuoluwapo Opeyori not to relent but continue to train and attain top form ahead of the Olympic Games.

Advertisement

He said, “I want to urge Anuoluwapo Opeyori to continue training hard for the Games; we are going to ensure he attends training tours before the Olympic Games”

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

Olympics

Messi says he won’t play for Argentina at Paris Games

Published

on

3fa9998f-messi.png

Lionel Messi said he will not be part of Argentina’s squad for the Paris Olympics as he is no longer at an age where he can play in every tournament.

The 36-year-old Inter Miami forward is currently preparing for Argentina’s Copa America title defence, which runs from June 20 to July 14 in the United States.

In February, under-23 manager Javier Mascherano said Messi, who won gold with Argentina at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, had an invitation to join the squad for Paris.

“I talked to Mascherano and the truth is we both understood the situation,” Messi told ESPN.

“It’s hard (to think about the Olympics right now) because we’re in Copa America. It would be two, three straight months of not being with the club, and more than anything I’m not at an age to be in everything.

Advertisement

“I have to choose carefully, and it would be too much to play two straight tournaments. I’ve been very lucky to play in the Olympics, of winning it together with (Mascherano).

“It was a wonderful experience on a football level. Olympics, U20, memories I’ll never forget.”

The men’s football tournament at the Olympics takes place in July and August. Teams are allowed three overage players in their squads.

-Reuters

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Olympics

Paris 2024: BFN celebrates Opeyori, plans intensive training in Italy

Published

on

The Badminton Federation of Nigeria (BFN) on Friday in Lagos organised a special dinner to send forth the country’s number one badminton star Anuoluwapo Opeyori, who is set to intensify training in Italy ahead of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

Opeyori, who has dominated Africa in the men’s singles from 2019 till date, winning four African Championship titles and two African Games titles, secured a spot at the Paris Games last month, becoming the first Nigerian badminton player to qualify for two consecutive Olympics after featuring at Tokyo 2020.

An elated Francis Orbih, President of the Badminton Federation of Nigeria, said on the occasion that Opeyori had broken the badminton jinx after qualification for the Games in Paris.

“History was made in badminton after Anuoluwapo Opeyori secured a spot at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. I am full of joy because Anu is the first Nigerian badminton player to feature in the men’s singles at the Olympic Games and also the first Nigerian badminton player to attend two Olympics back-to-back,” Orbih stated at the Civic Centre, Lagos, venue of the event.

Speaking with the media after the event, Orbih outlined the federation’s programme for Opeyori, which he said would begin with a three-week training tour of Italy this week.

Advertisement

He added, “We titled this programme ‘Send forth’ because we intend him to travel to Italy next week (this week) for a training camp camp for about three weeks. After that, the ministry will open its training camp in Germany July 1, he’ll join the team Nigeria there.

“We also intend him to play the Mauritius International and one other championship. After the training camp he needs to go to the court and put to use the skills he acquired in camp. After that he goes straight to the Olympics.”

President of the Nigeria Olympic Committee, Habu Gumel, also charged Opeyori to put up a fine outing in France.

“I’ll watch all your matches in Paris no matter how tight my schedule will be, so go make Nigerians proud.”

Also present at the event were top dignitaries, including ace comedian and BFN brand ambassador Ali Baba, a former Commissioner for Sports, Lagos State, Enitan Oshodi, DG of the Lagos state Sports Commission Lekan Fatodu as well as representatives of Mutual Benefits Assurance, Mikano Group, Dufil Prima Foods, Avis, Bond Global Energy, Studio 24, Ikoyi Club 1938 officials and members, amongst others.

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Olympics

Badminton Federation of Nigeria opens Paris 2024 Olympics camp in Lagos

Published

on

This way to Paris 2024, Coach Ben Orakpor seems to be telling Anu Opeyori

Ahead of Nigeria’s fourth participation in the badminton event of the Olympics, the Badminton Federation of Nigeria (BFN) has opened its training camp in Lagos ahead of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

The Paris 2024 will run from July 26th to August 11th. Nigeria had previously in 1996, 2008 and 2020 featured in the badminton events.

Two-time African Games Champion and four-time African Senior Champion, Anuoluwapo Opeyori is Nigeria’s sole representative in the badminton event at the Games. He becomes the first Nigerian badminton player to make back-to-back appearance at the Olympics.

President of the BFN, Francis Orbih revealed that Anuoluwapo Opeyori is paired with two national team players, Victor Ikechukwu and Emmanuel Joseph at the Badmintonn section facility at Ikoyi Club 1938.

Orbih said the BFN has concluded plans for the second stage of camping for Opeyori in Italy.

Advertisement

He said, “Before the announcement of the ministry’s camping programme, the BFN decided to put our qualified athlete, Anuoluwapo Opeyori in camp alongside two national team players, Victor Ikechukwu and Emmanuel Joseph at the Ikoyi Club 1938 in Lagos.

The Federation chose Ikoyi Club because it has one of the best badminton facilities in the country and the Federation has been in a collaborative partnership with the Club.

“The players are currently being handled by Coach Ben Orakpor who is one of our experienced coaches in the country. There is no time to waste because we have less than two months until the Paris 2024 Olympics and the Federation wants to ensure Opeyori is in top shape.

“Opeyori only has 10 days in Nigeria before he departs for his first phase of the foreign training camp in Italy. We want him to have access to world-class facilities and play against some top-ranked players in Europe”.

Orbih noted that the African Champion will join the foreign camp organised by the Federal Ministry of Sports in Germany from the 1st to 21st July.

Advertisement

He said, “We have agreed that Anuoluwapo Opeyori will join the foreign camp organised by the Federal Ministry of Sports in Germany from the 1st to 21st of July and in between play the Mauritius international from 11th to 14th July.

“The Badminton Federation of Nigeria will continue to monitor the progress of Opeyori and hope he surpasses his previous record at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics”.

Continue Reading

Most Viewed