Nigeria’s number one badminton player, Anuoluwapo Opeyori, respects Mauritian foe and Africa’s number one, Georges Julien Paul, but believes he can give him a run for his money if he also trains in world-class facilities like the world’s number 78.
African number two Opeyori, silver medalist at the 2020 African Badminton Championship in Egypt, insists Paul has an edge over him because of his exposure to top-class training facilities in Malaysia.
“The edge he has is the facility, training in a world class facility in Malaysia. It is a challenge for me but, I am dedicated to what I do. And the federation too is trying a lot.
“George trains in Malaysia, and he is exposed. You know, training in Malaysia and playing against the former number one, who is a Malaysian, will definitely give him the edge.
“They still ask us how we did it, training in Africa and still rising in the world rankings. I just laugh, it is something of pride, we’re built for this and we have talents,” he told Saturday PUNCH.
Badminton’s fortune has risen in the country in recent times and Opeyori expects it to continue, recounting the promises made by sports minister, Sunday Dare, towards other sports in the country.
“In his statement, he said he is there to make all sports equal, there is going to be equal attention and, so we stand by what the Minister said.
“He knows what is going on in the sports world and he is ready to make it right.”
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