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Sports - Other Sports Updated: May 16, 2024

Badminton World Federation confirms Bolaji, Chigozie for paralympic games

By Izuchukwu Okosi
May 16, 2024
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The Badminton World Federation has confirmed the duo of Mariam Eniola Bolaji and Jeremiah Chigozie's qualification for the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games coming up from 28th August to 8th September 2024.

A report on the Federaton's website on Thursday shows that Multiple African Champion, Mariam Bolaji will represent Nigeria in the Women’s Singles Standing Lower 3 (SL3) while Jeremiah Chigozie represents Nigeria in the Men’s Singles Standing Lower 4 (SL4).

President of the Badminton Federation of Nigeria told the media that the qualification of Mariam Bolaji and Jeremiah Chigozie is a reflection of the tremendous hard work, consistency and perseverance of the Nigerian athletes.

Orbih enthused that Nigeria stands a good chance to make history by winning medals in para-badminton in her debut appearance.

He said, “Today, history has been made as two players for the first time will be representing Nigeria in the para-badminton event at the Paralympic Games. I am full of joy because the sacrifices of the players and the Federation were not in vain.

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“Mariam Bolaji and Jeremiah Chigozie have consistently attended the African Championship winning gold medals in the singles and doubles events. Last month, Mariam Bolaji won two gold medals at the Spanish Internationals in Victoria and Toledo putting her in a better position to make it to the Paralympics; which has become a reality.

“With adequate camping, foreign tours and proper funding, I believe Nigeria will win a medal in the Para-Badminton event when we make our debut this year”.

Orbih then called on well-meaning individuals to support the Badminton Federation of Nigeria in ensuring the athletes get maximum support ahead of the Olympic/Paralympic Games in Paris next August.

He said, “I will not get tired of calling on the Federal Government of Nigeria and the private sector to key into our brand and give more support to the Badminton Federation of Nigeria. We have athletes who are marketable and will sell their brands to the world with their sterling performances”.

Mariam Eniola Bolaji shocked the world by winning her first gold medal at the Spanish Para Badminton International 2021 beating Oksana Kozyna from Ukraine.

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Bolaji won the women’s singles SL3 at the Uganda Para-Badminton International 2023, All African Para Badminton Championship 2023 (Doubles and Mixed Doubles).

She won gold medals at the 5th Fazza Dubai Para-Badminton International 2023, Egypt Para-Badminton International 2024, World Para-Badminton Championship 2024 in Thailand and Spanish Para-Badminton International 2024.

Bolaji is also the first African player to be ranked among the top 10 in the BWF world rankings as she is currently ranked number 5 in the world.

Meanwhile, Jeremiah Chigozie won a bronze medal at the Uganda Para-Badminton International 2023 and three gold medals at the African Para Badminton Championship 2023

He played a lesser number of championships compared to Eniola; playing in Egypt, Dubai, and World Championship in Thailand.

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Chigozie got to the quarter-finals in the men’s singles SL4 category in Thailand and is currently ranked number 16 in the recent BWF para Badminton ranking.

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Izuchukwu Okosi

Izuchukwu Okosi is a seasoned sports journalist with over two decades of experience in the industry....

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