Nigeria’s duo, Enejoh Abah and Peace Orji failed at the first hurdle as they were beaten by India’s Saurabh Sharma and Anoushka Parikh 13-21, 12-21 in the mixed double event of the Total BWF World Championships, which commenced on Sunday in Nanjing Olympic Sports Centre, Nanjing, China.
The Nigerians put up a good effort but it was no enough to prevent them from losing to their more illustrious opponents. The Indians will now take on Malaysia’s Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying in the second round.
The experience garnered by the duo will come in handy for future tournament as the Badminton Federation of Nigeria (BFN) continues its drive to reposition the game in the country.
President of the BFN Francis Orbih stated that the loss would give the new Chinese coaches, Zhou Zhihui and Jin Changsheng (who were with the players at the tournament) the opportunity to access the players, determine their level of play and have an understanding of the amount of work they have to do to turn around badminton in the country.
The BFN boss stated that the players were not expected to spring any surprise at the championship considering that Nigeria has not attended the competition for a long time but assured everything would be done to take the game to a higher pedestal.
He said: “Though the mixed doubles pair lost to India, it was a good opportunity for the new technical officials to assess the players, determine our level of play and have a preliminary understanding of the job they have ahead of them.
“The Badminton Federation of Nigeria (BFN) will work extra hard to secure more sponsorship and we commend Chinese One Belt One Road Sports initiative for bankrolling our players participation at the championship,” Orbih added.