Connect with us

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”.

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.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Olympics

Inspired by Salah, Egypt’s Elgendy eyes gold in Paris

Published

on

Tokyo 2020 Olympics - Modern Pentathlon - Men's Laser-Run - Tokyo Stadium - Tokyo, Japan - August 7, 2021. Ahmed Elgendy of Egypt celebrates after winning silver REUTERS/Carlos Barria/File Photo

When Ahmed Elgendy met Mohamed Salah in January, he was given a pep talk and posed for a picture with the Egyptian soccer star while wearing the modern pentathlon silver medal that he earned at the Tokyo Olympics.

Yet the 24-year-old dreams of taking another photo with Salah after the upcoming Paris Olympics, but this time he hopes to don a gold medal as he seeks to etch his name deeper into Egypt’s sporting history.

“Salah is a role model for all of us. Having a conversation with him, not just taking a photo, is a very big thing,” Elgendy told Reuters. “We talked about the Olympics and preparations; it was a very good meeting.”

Elgendy was a relative unknown when he made history in Tokyo, becoming the first African to win an Olympic modern pentathlon medal.

A late rally in the men’s individual event saw him finish just behind gold medallist Joe Choong of Britain.

Advertisement

Since then, he has been beset by injuries, including a shoulder injury that forced him out of the semi-finals of the Pentathlon World Championships last month.

However, after an intensive rehabilitation program, he has been declared fit and hopes deliver a gold medal in Paris.

“Things are different now compared to Tokyo; I’m more experienced and confident. Over the past three years, I’ve participated in only seven championships due to my shoulder injuries, yet I won medals in five of them,” Elgendy said.

“My primary target is to win gold, but I will also be happy if I win a silver or bronze as it will mark a second successive Olympic medal.”

Modern pentathlon athletes will face an added challenge in Paris with a riding contest in both the semi-finals and the final. In Tokyo, this event was part of a single-round format.

Advertisement

In the equestrian competition, riders are allocated random horses just 20 minutes before the start. The horse-riding contest will be scrapped altogether from the 2028 Los Angeles Games, making way for obstacle racing.

“There is a bigger risk now with regards to horse riding; it’s a bigger challenge. We hope things will go smoothly,” Elgendy added.

Elgendy, currently ranked fourth in the world, is aware he is under pressure as Egypt’s primary hope of glory in Paris. He has also been selected as Egypt’s flag-bearer during the opening ceremony.

“I know that I’m under the spotlight now, unlike in Tokyo. But I’m taking positives from that and treating it as extra motivation,” he said.

-Reuters

Advertisement

Continue Reading

Olympics

Cash, luxury cars and land grants, Paris Games a gold mine for Arab medallists

Published

on

Wrestling - WWE Crown Jewel 2021 - Mohammed Abdu Arena, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia - October 21, 2021 Olympic silver medalist Tareg Hamedi joins Mansoor during his fight against Mustafa Ali REUTERS/Ahmed Yosri/File Photo

Tareg Hamedi went from being a hard-working student athlete to a national hero and millionaire after landing Saudi Arabia’s second ever Olympic silver medal in the karate competition in Tokyo three years ago.

Olympic medals remain a rarity for athletes from the Arab world but those who do manage to get onto the podium can expect lavish rewards, from luxury cars to land grants as well as a healthy boost to their bank balances.

Even as the sporting world debates the decision by World Athletics to award $50,000 to track and field gold medallists at the Paris Olympics, athletes from the region can be sure of much bigger paydays if they can snare a title in France.

In Tokyo, Hamedi missed out on claiming his country’s first gold medal in controversial circumstances when he knocked out his opponent with an illegal high kick in the final and was disqualified.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told Hamedi he was a gold medallist in his country’s eyes and the fighter was rewarded with the full 5 million riyal ($1.33 million) prize promised to Olympic title winners.

Advertisement

Offering huge financial incentives to medal winners is not unknown elsewhere – Hong Kong fencer Cheung Ka Long banked HK$5 million ($640,311) for his Tokyo gold – but bestowing honours on champions has a long history in the Arab world.

Olympic medallists can expect streets, schools and bridges to be named after them and it is not just oil-rich Gulf nations that offer lavish gifts and monetary rewards.

In Algeria, it is customary for the country’s president to honour Olympic champions with gifts from ranging from luxury cars to apartments.

The winner of a gold medal in Morocco receives two million dirhams ($200,000) while Egypt’s National Olympic Committee, in agreement with sponsors, has raised the value of a gold medal to five million Egyptian pounds ($105,218) for Paris.

The entire Iraqi national football team that qualified for Paris Olympics recently received plots of land and financial bonuses from the prime minister.

Advertisement

Qatar has long used financial incentives to attract athletes from other countries to compete for the gas-rich state and the rewards for medal success are thought to be generous, even if they are not publicly disclosed.

Egypt-born weightlifter Fares Ibrahim Hassouna switched allegiance to win Qatar’s first Olympic gold medal in Tokyo in 2021 in a move that did not go down well with the Egyptian Weightlifting Federation.

“They splash money on him just as football clubs do on players,” federation chief Mahmoud Mahgoub said at the time.

-Reuters

Advertisement

=

Continue Reading

Olympics

Respite as CAS postpones judgement on WADA – Nigeria case

Published

on

BREAKING! WADA Sends Nigeria, Venezuela Anti-doping Agency Cases To CAS -

Judgement may have been postponed in the case before the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) involving the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and Nigeria.

A decision was expected on Friday. Information gathered from various sources indicated that the decision may have been deferred till after the Paris 2024 Games.

 WADA had claimed that Nigeria, among some other countries, did not comply with WADA Code.

The alleged non-compliance in the Nigeria case is due to the Nigeria Anti-Doping Organisation (NADO) not addressing several critical requirements to its anti-doping program following an audit carried out by WADA in late 2022.

The General Secretary of the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC), Tunde Popoola told the Sports Village Square that he was not entertaining any fear of Nigeria losing the case.

Advertisement

“It will be a shocker, if they decide to suspend us”, said Popoola. He added that he had not heard  anything about the case.

Continue Reading

Most Viewed