The Nigerian team has emerged the overall winner of the 2018 edition of the Africa Schools Badminton Championship which ended in Tema, Ghana, on Thursday evening.
Nigeria won five gold medals, three silver and three bronze, while South Africa finished second with a gold and two silver.
Uganda came third with one gold and four bronze medals.
The Nigerian team made its first appearance in the championship since it began in 2006.
Rufai Sidi, Daniel Egbonyi, Khalil Shamsuddeen, Umar Balarabe and Bankole Timileyin represented Nigeria in the boys’ category.
Obanishola Arinola, Obasanmi Olajumoke, Taofik Romoke and Mosun Shogbade represented the country in the female category.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the team departed the country on Dec. 19, and was led by Coaches Suleiman Tajudeen and Ismaila Mohammed.
On the final day of the tournament, the Nigerian team won three gold medals to add to the two it won in the team event on Sunday.
In the Boys Doubles Final, the pair of Babatunde Bankole and Egbonyi Daniel defeated Balarabe Ahmad and Shamsuddeen Khalil 2-0 (21-17, 21-16).
Similarly, in the Girls Doubles, Nigeria’s Obanishola Sofiat and Obasanmi Olajumoke beat Morgan De Beer and Kent B of South Africa 2-0 (22-20, 21-16).
In the Mixed Doubles, which also involved two Nigerian teams, Balarabe Ahmad and Obanishola Sofiat beat Babatunde Bankole and Taofiq Romoke 2-1 (21-18,17-21).
However, the Nigerian team lost in the boys and girls single’s final.
The President of the Badminton Federation of Nigeria (BFN), Francis Orbih, praised the team for the feat, saying that the victory would encourage children to take to badminton.
He said that the team showed discipline throughout the event and were good ambassadors of the country.
Orbih, the newly-elected Second Vice President of the Nigeria Olympic Committee, said that BFN would continue to hold programmes to develop players at all levels.
“I must commend the team for this achievement. They have done well, and we will continue to encourage them by providing the necessary support for them to excel.
“I am sure that we are on the right track in our quest to grow our talent base,” Orbih added. (NAN)