Anambra State was the dominant force as the southeastern teams gathered for the badminton contest. Team Anambra topped, winning a total of 10 medals comprising of three gold, two silver, and five bronze.
They were followed by the host state, Enugu which had two gold, five silver and three bronze medals.
Abia State came third with two gold silver and two bronze medals. None of the teams went back blank as all featured on the medals table. Ebonyi placed fourth with two gold and seven bronze medals while Imo had gold and two silver and two bronze medals. The excitement on the players was palpable.
Most were having a competitive outing for the first time. Never before had a badminton contest held for the five-state region. Great thanks for the initiative of the leading sports betting firm, Bet9ja.
So for the first time ever, players of the five eastern states of Nigeria gathered for a badminton tournament. For three days, the championship featured contests among senior and under 20 male and female players as well as among veterans.
Held at the indoor sports hall of Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, the project was the brainchild of Obiageli Edoga Solaja, the South East representative on the board of the Badminton Federation of Nigeria (BFN).
She is also the Badminton Confederation of Africa’s winner of the African Woman in Badminton Award for 2019 and Nigeria’s first badminton player at the Olympic Games.
She remarked that apart from playing her role as the representative of the South East on the board of BFN, she felt obliged to give back to the zone that produced her and nurtured her to international stardom in badminton.
It was in Enugu that she was discovered when at 15, she represented the old Anambra State (now comprising Enugu, Anambra, and Ebonyi) at the National Sports Festival in Kaduna in 1977.