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Coordinator hopeful of medals as Nigeria competes in World Para Badminton Championships

Posted : 21 February 2024

Samuel Ekeoma, the National Para-Badminton Coordinator, has expressed confidence that the country's representatives will win medals at the World Para Badminton Championship slated for Pattaya, Thailand.

Ekeoma, in an exclusive interview, disclosed that four players and a coach departed the country on Sunday to participate in the Championships, which will be held from Feb. 20 to Feb. 25.

He mentioned that the players attending the world championships for the first time included Eniola Bolaji, a female SL3 player and a five-time gold medalist in her category; Chinyere Okoro, a female SL4 player, and Chukwuebuka Eze, a male SL3 player.

Others are Chigozie Nnanna, a male SL4 player, and Coach Ngozi Duru, the National Female head coach.

The coordinator noted that the players had undergone rigorous training to hone their skills for a good outing at the world stage and earn more points ahead of the 2024 Paralympics in Paris later this year.

The BWF Para Badminton World Championships in Thailand are the final chance for athletes to earn world ranking points for the 2024 Paralympic Games qualification.

“I’m very optimistic that our players will make Nigeria proud in Thailand, having trained adequately ahead of the competition.

“This is the first time our players will be participating at this level, making it a big boost for the sport in the country.

“Our players stand a good chance to garner the points needed to qualify for the Paralympics in Paris, having attended four different international championships ahead of this competition,” he said.

He commended Gov. Alex Otti of Abia for his unwavering support and sponsorship of three of the players to the competition, urging other state governments and philanthropists to emulate his gesture.

He said: “In the eight months, the Abia State governor had sponsored seven players from the state to four different international competitions, of which three out of the seven were able to qualify for this major event.

“We are also grateful to the President of the Badminton Federation of Nigeria (BFN) for his unflinching support to para-badminton players in the country.

“A player from Ogun state and Akwa Ibom also qualified and got visas to participate in the competition but were unable to attend due to a lack of funds,” he said.


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