No fewer than 18 countries have registered for the All Africa Senior Badminton Championships holding at the Alfred Diete Spiff Centre, Port Harcourt in Rivers.
Concise News reports that Francis Orbih, President, Badminton Federation of Nigeria (BFN), announced this in a statement on Thursday.
He says there would be two separate tournaments – the Mixed Team Event holding from April 22 to April 25 and the Individual Championship from April 26 to April 28.
“Already, 18 countries have registered for the showpiece event, which will see the best male and female Badminton players on the African continent compete for glory.
“These countries include; Algeria, Benin, Botswana, Congo, Congo DRC, Eritrea, Egypt, Ghana and Ivory Coast.
“Other participating countries include; Kenya, Mauritius, Seychelles, South Africa, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe and the host country, Nigeria,’’ he says.
Orbih commends the teams that have registered for the competition for their efforts.
“They should get ready for the best All Africa Senior Badminton Championships the continent has ever seen.
“We are excited about the quality of teams that will be participating at the All Africa Senior Championships in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
“These are teams with some of the most talented players on the continent. Africa’s number one male and female single players, Georges Paul and Kate Foo Kune, of Mauritius, will be participating.
“Obviously the fans are in for perhaps the most competitive All Africa Senior Championships we have seen in a while,” Orbih says.
On the country’s level of preparedness for the Championships, the BFN President says the country would be ready in time to host Africa.
“As part of the preparations for this competition, the BFN have organised the 1st Rivers Governor’s National Badminton Championship in Port-Harcourt in December 2018.
“The National Championship provided us with an opportunity to test-run the facilities and infrastructure needed to host the All African Championship.
“We learnt a lot of lessons from the National Championship, which have proved very useful in our current preparations.
“The Rivers State Government has been very supportive in our preparations and with their continued support, we will be ready in time,” Orbih says.
The Badminton helmsman adds that as the host country, it was a daunting task combining preparation for hosting events such as this and preparing their teams to successfully participate in the event.
“The BFN, however, does not envisage that challenge, noting that the Nigerian team is being prepared to successfully represent the country at the event.
“The National Camp is currently open and the players have been working hard to ensure they successfully represent Nigeria at the Championships.
“Over the last couple of years, Nigerian players have climbed their way to the top of the African rankings and are primed to be the team to beat at the Championships,” Orbih says.
No fewer than 30 Nigerian badminton players are already in camp preparing ahead of the competition which would also be used as a scoring event.