Badminton

Thomas & Uber Cup: Team Nigeria ease into final, eye trophy in qualification series

The Nigeria’s Badminton stars left no stone unturned in their quest to win the Thomas and Uber Cup African qualifiers tourney in Algeria.

With qualification to the World Cup guaranteed for champions, the Nigerian contingent did their best to see off opponents in grand style in both the men and women category on Wednesday.

In the Women’s category, Team Nigeria overcame tourney favourites Egypt 3-2 in a very cagey affair as Africa’s number 1 Dorcas Adesokan lost the first set 17-21 before rallying back to win the game 17-21, 21-7,21-17.

Zainab Momoh however lost the second game as Doha Hany triumphed 21-16, 19-21, 21-17. Deborah Ukeh restored Nigeria’s lead beating Salmeen Essam 21-12, 21-8.

In the women’s doubles, the duo of Doha Hany and Hadia Hosnia won 21-19, 18-21, 21-16 against the duo of Dorcas Adesokan and Deborah Ukeh but the Nigerian duo of Peace Orji and Zainab Momoh put the game beyond the Egyptians, winning in straight set of 21-9 , 21-16 against the duo of Salmeen Essam and Hona Terek to qualify for Thursday’s final.

In the men’s category, team Nigeria were ruthless against their North African foes, Morocco, defeating them 3-0 to qualify for the semi final.

Clement Krobapor led the way with a 21-16, 21-15 victory over Bilal Elharab, Anuoluwapo beat his opponent in style with a 21-9, 21-5 victory against Ahmed Amine while Godwin Olofua wrapped up team Nigeria’s victory with an emphatic 21-4, 21-5 whitewash of Yassine El Mernissi  to qualify for the semi-final against West African neighbours, Ghana.

In the semi-final, Clement Krobapor won the first game for Nigeria, beating Emmanuel Yaw 21-10, 21-17 .The Ghanaian fought back with Habeeb Bello losing to Abraham Ayittey 21-19, 21-15 to make it 1-1 .

Anuoluapo  Opeyori restored the country’s lead with a 21-13, 21-16 victory against Daniel Sam in the third game to make it 2-1 for Nigeria.

In the doubles event the duo of Enejoh Abah and Clement Kropabor sealed the final ticket for Nigeria crushing the duo of  Abraham Ayittey and Michael Okpotu  21-12, 21-13.

Team Nigeria in the women’s final will play Mauritius, while in the Men’s category, Nigeria will play hosts Algeria on Thursday.

Credit: Ubong Bassey

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