July 14, 2024
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Current National and African Badminton champion, Anuoluwapo Opeyori, has maintained his position as the winner of the men’s singles category of the 4th Mutual Benefits National Badminton Championship for 2023 on Saturday in Lagos.

Opeyori, representing Lagos State, was not only rewarded with N250,000 cash prize, but also received a personal accident insurance cover worth N5 million from Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc, one of the sponsors of the championship.

The insurance cover will provide protection for Opeyori in the event of death, permanent disability, and medical expenses.

The men’s singles category also saw Victor Ikechukwu, representing Rivers State, emerge as the first runner-up and received N200,000 cash prize.

The second and third runners-up in this category were awarded N150,000 cash prizes each.

In the women’s singles category, Ruth Ebere, representing Edo State, emerged as the winner and received N250,000 cash prize.

Deborah Ukeh, also from Edo State, secured the second position and was awarded N200,000.

Moving on to the men’s doubles, Opeyori, partnered with Daniel Christopher of Lagos State, emerged as the winners and received N150,000 cash prize each.

Victor Ikechukwu and Emmanuel Joseph of Rivers State came in second place in this category and received N100,000 each.

In the women’s doubles category, Grace Gabriel and Ramatu Yakubu, representing the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), emerged as the winners and received N150,000 each.

Zainab Alebi and Sofiat Obanisola of Rivers State secured the second position and were awarded N100,000 respectively.

Other winners of the mixed double also got cash prizes varying from N150,000 for the winner, N100,000 for the first runner-up, while the two third runners-up received N75,000.

Dr Akin Ogunbiyi, Group Chairman, Mutual Benefits, expressed his appreciation for the opportunity to sponsor the tournament and announced the one-year personal accident insurance cover for Opeyori.

Ogunbiyi, represented by Mr Joseph Oladokun, Executive Director, Technical operations, Mutual Benefits Assurance, said that the insurance would provide coverage for death, permanent disability, and medical expenses up to N5 million.

He stated that the journey of the insurance company from the edition of the championships in 2017 had been remarkable.

According to the chairman, the insurer is honoured to provide the platform for young, talented Nigerians to showcase their skills, mentorship, grow and set stage for future champions.

“The courts have borne witness to exceptional serves, powerful smashes, agile footwork and a display of passion and dedication from the players.

“We have witnessed remarkable victories, heart-wrenching defeats and moments of sheer magic that will be etched in our memories forever,” he said.

Ogunbiyi said the commitment is an integral part of the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities as it strive to contribute to the growth and development of the Nigerian Youth and development of sports at different levels.

Ogunbiyi appreciated the leadership of BFN for their dedication to organise the championships and to train and mentor the young athletes.

A lawyer, Mr Francis Orbih, the President of the Badminton Federation of Nigeria (BFN), commended Mutual Benefits for its steadfast support of badminton in Nigeria.

He commended the players for their dedication, resilience, and unwavering support for the sport, noting that they demonstrated the true spirit of badminton through sportsmanship, fair play, and a pursuit of excellence.

He said that the 4th Mutual Benefits National Badminton Championship marks a remarkable resurgence of the sport in Nigeria and a revival, long awaited since the last championship in 2019.

“Mutual Benefits commitment to sports aligns with our vision of promoting badminton as a unifying force, fostering a culture of healthy competition, and a inspiring future generations of athletes,” he said.

Responding, Opeyori expressed his gratitude to Mutual Benefits for sponsoring the tournament, especially considering the current economic challenges in the country.

He acknowledged the company’s support to badminton sports and its players.

He advised other companies and well-meaning Nigerians to also support the tournament to encourage the players and develop badminton as a viable sport.

Reports says that the 4th Mutual Benefits National Badminton Championship, which started on Nov. 29, has no fewer than 160 skilled Athletes from 27 States across the country.

The athletes re competing in various categories for the coveted fourth championship titles, ranking points in the singles, doubles and mixed doubles competitions.

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