Nigeria tops all at 15th Africa Schools Badminton tourney

Author: Beatrice Laryea
Mr Evans Yeboah (third from right) and other officials in a photograph with the winners of the men's singles event

Nigeria garnered 27 medals consisting 19 gold, four silver and 4 bronze to emerged overall champions of the 2018 All Africa Schools Badminton Championship which ended last Thursday at the Tema International School.

South Africa followed with 15 medals made up of three gold, nine silver and three bronze. Ghana finished third with 14 bronze medals
The Nigerians started the eight-day tournament on a good note picking gold in both the men and women’s team events last Monday and crowned the tournament with gold in the individual events.

In the boys doubles, Umar Ahmad Balarabe and Khalil Safana Shamudeen won 21-14, 21-17 against fellow Nigerians Timelyin Babatunde Bankole and Daniel Christopher.

Nigeria won another gold in the mixed doubles event when Umar Ahmad Balarabe and Sofiat Arinola Obanishola beat Babatunde Bankole and Ganiyet Rimoke 21-14, 21-9.

Winners and runners-up of the team events in a photograph

The tournament was organised by the Badminton Confederation of Africa (BCA) in collaboration with the Badminton Association of Ghana.
It brought together over 100 players from second cycle institutions in Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Niger, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda, Zimbabwe and Ghana.

The winners will represent Africa at the World Schools Badminton Championship in Greece in April 2020.

Speaking at the closing ceremony, the Minister of Youth and Sports Mr Isaac Kwame Asiamah noted that sports could not thrive on the continent without proper structured systems and investment in the youth commending the organisers for selecting Ghana to host the event.

Winners of the women's singles event in a photograph with match officials

“This championship is in no doubt good platform for talent identification and grooming towards enhanced elite players development who will compete against the rest of the world.

I strongly believe that the eight days have also been purposeful to all actors here for social interaction, networking, and friendship and in the long term promote harmony, peace and unity and cultural diversity among all participants,” he said.

He continued: “As the curtains are drawn down on the championship, let me assure the BCA of the Ministry of Youth and Sports’ commitment towards the realization of your objectives regarding the development and promotion, and supporting the sustainable growth of the sport in Africa, especially in Ghana.

For his part, the president of the BAG, Evans Yeboah said: “I trust that you all would bear with us for the challenges and inconveniences you might have encountered, and experienced and also thank you for your endurance and height of patience. To BCA Event Manager, Mr. Simon Mugabe and Tournament referee, Mr. Hassen khan we appreciate your great support and effort at sharping the success of this event.”