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Olympic Losses In Badminton, Taekwondo And Tennis Marked Awful Day For Team Nigeria

Elizabeth Oluchi Anyanacho
Elizabeth Oluchi Anyanacho against her turkish opponent.

July 27, (THEWILL) – Nigeria did not fare well on the path to medals in the fourth day of competition at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. Competing in Badminton, Taekwondo and Table Tennis, there was not a single victory in any of these matches to celebrate for Team Nigeria.

Capping off a forgettable day for the country, the badminton duo of Godwin Olofua and Anuoluwapo Opeyori failed to get their Olympic dream on track after the opening game loss as they succumbed to another 2-0 defeat against Denmark’s Astrup Kim and Rasmussen Skaarup.

In both games, at no time did the pair of Nigerian players go beyond 10 to make their Danish opponents sweat out the possibility of a threat to their domination over the two games. The first set loss of 21-7 was over in 11 minutes while Astrup and Rasmussen needed only 14 minutes to wrap up the second set 21-10.

It was not a marked improvement from their first group play and loss at the Musashino Forest Sport Plaza Centre to the Japanese pair of Hiroyuki Endo and Yuta Watanabe. That entire match was one minute shorter than Monday’s as they were outclassed 21-2 and 21-7 in games 1 and 2 respectively.

They have one more group match where they will meet the other whipping boys of Group B: Vladimir Ivanov and Ivan Sozonov of the Russia Olympic Committee (ROC). This Tuesday march will pit the two sides that have so far failed to win any of their first two games as the ROC pair also lost 2-0 to both Japan and Denmark.

Hopefully, Opeyori and Olofua will get their acts together and improve on their performance to beat Ivanov and Sozonov so as to have a victory on the record for their participation at the Summer Games showpiece.

Earlier in the day, in her Taekwando event, Team Nigeria’s Elizabeth Oluchi Anyanacho, the country’s sole representative in that sport, could not overcome her Turkish opponent Nur Tartar, as the double Olympic medalist and former world champion in the women’s -67kg event, was too much for the Nigerian.

As audacious an effort as Anyanacho mustered, the difference in experience between the 22-year-old and the double Olympic medalist was obvious. The former world champion took victory by a 12-7 margin.

This is Nigeria’s first participation in the sport at the Summer Games since the 2012 London Olympics and, Anyanacho, who is ranked 13th in her weight category, will hope that Tartar makes it to the final as that will make her eligible to contest for a bronze medal.

After Anyanacho’s loss, as THEWILL reported, Dorcas Adesokan, Nigeria’s representative in the women’s singles event of Badminton Games, lost her first group game Clara Azurmendi. She must now go into her second group game against the other GroupC athlete An Se-young for a must-win game against a player ranked 7th and was awarded the 2019 Most Promising Player of the Year.

After that, Team Nigeria’s table tennis hopeful Offiong Edem was knocked out of the women’s singles event of the competition by American Lily Zhang, losing 4-1, although she had won the first set 15-13.