President of the Badminton Federation of Nigeria, Francis Orbih, says the federation hopes to consolidate on their achievements in 2019 by qualifying for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.
In an interview with Punch correspondent on Wednesday, Orbih said the federation is putting plans in place to ensure their players are exposed to quality training to achieve the feat.
“Our major target for the year is to qualify for the Olympics. Our qualification period runs till April, so, between now and April, our three players who stand a good chance to qualify have to keep playing different qualifiers,” he told The PUNCH.
“Two of them are in Denmark now for a month, and before they come back, they will pay two internationals, Estonia and Swedish, then come back home to join their teammates to prepare for the All African Senior Championships where we are going to defend our title in Egypt in February and that is also an Olympic qualifier.
“After that, we will play Kenya, Uganda internationals and maybe one or two others before the close of the qualification period in April.
“After qualification, we will start preparing the players, while we play the West African International Circuit of Ghana, Benin Republic and Ivory Coast just before the Lagos International. We will then play Lagos International, after which we will head for the Olympics,” he added.
He also said the BFN intends to introduce age grade tournaments on the domestic scene to add to the already existing championships.
“On the domestic scene, we hope to hold the fourth edition of Mutual Benefits National Badminton Championships and the Katsina Golden Spa and see if we can increase the number of national championships from the two that we have.
“While doing that, we also want to target age grades by introducing at least one U-17 and U-19 tournaments to the national championships.”
He also said coaches will be sent for trainings and refresher courses to sharpen their skills.