African doubles badminton champion, Godwin Olofua has attributed lack of training tours and inadequate attendance of world championships as reasons why the badminton team struggled at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
He told www.aclsports.com that his Olympics dream became possible due to the efforts of the Former President of Badminton Federation of Nigeria, Francis Orbih and individuals who believed in badminton.
Olofua revealed that preparations for the 2022 Commonwealth Games will begin immediately he returns from the Olympic Games in Japan.
He said, “We have the passion and mindset to achieve greatness, to do well and represent our country. If we do not have quality training and adequate training tours, we will continue to struggle to win these top players. If the Federal Government, State Government and Private Sectors see us as priority, we will match up to other badminton players in the World.
“The only way we can improve our performance at the forthcoming Commonwealth Games is to play more tournaments, attend training tours for a year. If we attending enough training tours, the level of our standard will improve drastically and match other highly ranked players in the World”.
“I strongly believe if the nation puts proper machinery in place (including high standard tournaments), we will do well at Paris 2024 Olympics”, he told www.aclsports.com
The 2019 African Games silver medalist expressed joy playing against some of the best badminton players in the world.
He said, “Playing in the Olympics is an amazing experience for me because this is the biggest game ever in the World.
“I really enjoyed myself while playing on the court against World number 4 double players, Yuta Watanabe and Hiroyuki Endo; I played freely without any tension despite the fact that we were a little bit nervous in the first game.
“Playing against the best in the world is a memorable and big achievement. While playing on the court, my heart was filled with joy: it is a pleasure playing against the Japanese because this is the first time we are facing them.
“There is nothing spectacular about the Chinese, Japanese and English teams; all they have is consistent training programs, good facilities, proper welfare packages and they are properly taken care off”.
World number 4 Yuta Watanabe and Hiroyuki Endo beat Nigeria’s Godwin Olofua and Anuoluwapo Opeyori 2-0 (21-2, 21-17) in their first game before losing to Denmark’s Kim Astrup and Anders Rasmussen (World number 12) 2-0 (21-7, 21-10) on Monday.
Godwin Olofua and Anuoluwapo Opeyori lost their third match to World number 12 and ROC’s Ivan Sozonov and Vladimir Ivanov 2-0 (21-8, 21-10) in the men’s doubles event on Tuesday.