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Badminton is a racquet sport — usually played as singles (with one player on either side) or doubles (with two players per side) — played using racquets to hit a shuttlecock across a net. Although Badminton is relatively unpopular in Nigeria, the nation’s badminton team is considered one of the best in Africa. In the world of badminton, no Nigerian player has been able to book a top-100 spot over the years, and this is largely due to the country’s absence from international competitions, hence, the inexperience of Africa’s best vis-a-vis world badminton. The ranking of players by the Badminton World Federation (BWF), is a function of nternational competitions attended and points gathered from such competitions. Japan’s Kento Momota is the current best player in the world, with 87,107 points from 14 tournaments. Georges Julien Paul, a Mauritian badminton player, is the only African to be ranked in top-100 by the BWF, with 18,335 points from 13 tournaments. In second place is another Mauritian player, Aatish Lubah, ranked 170 with 9861 points from 8 tournaments. The next three Africans on the list are all Nigerians: Anuoluwapo Juwon Opeyori, Clement Kropakpo,  and Habeeb Temitope Bello, in positions; 180 with 8976 points from 6 tournaments, 192 with 8258 points from 8 tournamnets, and 203 with 7699 points from 5 tournaments, respectively. The disparity between the number of international tournaments attended by players from top badminton countries and Nigeria is quite unnerving, and could make one wonder where Nigeria would be on the BWF rank if our prime players had the same chances Georges Julien Paul had.

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This article was first published on 15th October 2018


Achem Samuel is a writer and a musician, he is passionate about God and also an ardent fan of tech, sports and music.

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