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Para Badminton: Bolaji, Chigozie qualify for Paris 2024 Paralympics

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The duo of Mariam Eniola Bolaji and Jeremiah Chigozie have qualified for the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games coming up from 28th

The duo of Mariam Eniola Bolaji and Jeremiah Chigozie have qualified for the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games coming up from 28th August to 8th September.

According to the Badminton World Federation, Multiple African Champion, Mariam Bolaji will represent Nigeria in the Women’s Singles Standing Lower 3 (SL3) while Jeremiah Chigozie represents Nigeria in the Men’s Singles Standing Lower 4 (SL4).

An elated Francis Orbih, President of Badminton Federation of Nigeria said the qualification of Mariam Bolaji and Jeremiah Chigozie is a testimony of hard work, consistency and perseverance.

Orbih who was full of joy revealed that Nigeria stands a good chance to make history by winning medals in para badminton in her debut appearance.

He said, “Today, history has been made as two players for the first time will be representing Nigeria in the para badminton event at the Paralympic Games. I am full of joy because the sacrifices of the players and the Federation were not in vain.

“Mariam Bolaji and Jeremiah Chigozie have consistently attended the African Championship winning gold medals in the singles and doubles events. Last month, Mariam Bolaji won two gold medals at the Spanish Internationals in Victoria and Toledo putting her in a better position to make it to the Paralympics; which has become a reality.

“With adequate camping, foreign tours and proper funding, I believe Nigeria will win a medal in the Para Badminton event when we make our debut this year”.

Orbih once again, called on well meaning individuals to support the Badminton Federation of Nigeria in ensuring the athletes get maximum support ahead of the Olympic/Paralympic Games in Paris next August.

He said, “I will not get tired of calling on the Federal Government of Nigeria and the private sector to key into our brand and give more support to the Badminton Federation of Nigeria. We have athletes who are marketable and will sell their brands to the world with their sterling performances”.

Mariam Eniola Bolaji shocked the world by winning her first gold medal at the Spanish Para badminton International 2021 beating Oksana Kozyna from Ukraine.

Bolaji won the women’s singles SL3 at the Uganda Para Badminton International 2023, All African Para Badminton Championship 2023 (Doubles and Mixed Doubles).

She won gold medals at the 5th Fazza Dubai Para Badminton International 2023, Egypt Para Badminton International 2024, World Para Badminton Championship 2024 in Thailand and Spanish Para Badminton International 2024.

Bolaji is also the first African player to be ranked among the top 10 in the BWF world rankings as she is currently ranked number 5 in the world.

Meanwhile, Jeremiah Chigozie won bronze medal at the Uganda Para Badminton International 2023 and three gold medals at African Para Badminton Championship 2023

He played a lesser number of championships compared to Eniola; playing in Egypt, Dubai, and World Championship in Thailand.

Chigozie got to the quarter finals in the men’s singles SL4 category in Thailand and currently ranked number 16 in the recent BWF para Badminton ranking.

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Olympics: BFN celebrates Opeyori, plans intensive training in Italy

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The Badminton Federation of Nigeria (BFN) on Friday in Lagos organised a special dinner to send forth the country's number one badminton star

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.

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.

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Abidjan African Judo Open 2024: Team Nigeria Pick Third Position Behind Cameroon, Argentina

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The Abidjan African Judo Open 2024 came to an end on Sunday with good performance from Nigerian judokas who came third in .

The Abidjan African Judo Open 2024 came to an end on Sunday with good performance from Nigerian judokas who came third in the 32-nation tournament held in Cote D’Ivoire.

Cameroon came first on the medal table with 4 gold, 3 silver and 1 bronze medals Argentina was second on the table with 2 gold and 1 bronze, while the Nigerian team were third with 1 gold, 1 silver and 2 bronze medals.

Competitors of 103 men and 44 women came in from the five continents of the world to attend the Judo Open which was held between 8 and 9 in Abidjan.

President of Nigeria Judo Federation (NJF), Dr. Musa Oshodi who led the Nigerian contingent to the world tournament praised the performance of the judokas, adding that “we are not at the Abidjan African Open 2024 to make number rather our team came to make the nation proud.”

The president assures that the NJC will leave nothing to chance to ensure that Nigerian judokas are given the enabling environment to showcase their talent with necessary exposure to both local and international tournaments.

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NBA Finals: Celtics beat Mavericks 105-98, take 2-0 lead

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In a game full of up and down emotions but one that a very smart and accurate team knew how to put away, the Boston Celtics managed to

In a game full of up and down emotions but one that a very smart and accurate team knew how to put away, the Boston Celtics managed to beat the Dallas Mavericks with a final score of 105-98 in the second game of the NBA Finals to take a 2-0 lead.

Despite the impressive performance of Luka Doncic, who recorded a triple double with 32 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists while not being 100%, the Celtics showed greater strength as a team and delivered clutch baskets.

From the beginning of the game, the intensity could be felt on the court, with both teams fighting for every possession and seeking to establish their dominance. The Mavericks counted on an outstanding performance from Doncic, who led his team’s offense with a display of skills in both shooting and ball distribution in what it seemed to be a game that Dallas could take.

However, despite his outstanding individual performance, the Celtics managed to neutralize his impact through solid defense and a well-executed collective strategy. Boston showed remarkable cohesion as a team, with notable contributions from several key players. Jrue Holiday stood out with 26 points and 11 rebounds, leading Boston’s offensive charge and proving his worth in crucial moments of the game.

Additionally, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown contributed significantly to the team, providing a combination of points, rebounds and assists to keep the Celtics in control of the game.

As the game moved toward the end, the Mavericks fought for a comeback, led by Doncic, who continued to apply pressure on both ends of the court. But the Celtics held firm on defense and found ways to maintain their lead, thus securing the victory and consolidating their lead in the series.

 

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