Ghana became the first African country to reach the finals of the Mix Team Group category of the ongoing 2023 BWF World Junior Badminton Championships in Washington, USA.
Despite losing to Norway in the finals, Ghanaian Players, Andy Amofa and Elvis Osei, won the Mixed Team Event’s fourth and fifth best players, whilst Moslena Adu placed 10th in the overall player rankings.
Team Ghana had to settle for second place in the group, which nonetheless marked a historic achievement.
Amofa committed a rare service error but quickly recovered, delivering a cross-court smash to regain the lead at 11-09.
In a crucial moment, Amofa surprised Norway’s Aldrin Nelsonby returning a shuttle that appeared to be heading wide, but the Norway player managed to keep it close to the net.
Amofa returned the shuttle and secured the point with a well-executed backflip to the other side of the court, taking an 11-09 lead.
Despite saving two match points, Nelson failed to return a body smash by Amofa near the net. With a final score of 3-0,Ghanalost the last game and handed Norway a winning match, concluding Amofa’scareer most riveting badminton games.
Ghana performed far better than they did in the 2017 World Championships in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, and puts them in pole position for the 2024 France Olympics qualification.
The World Championships also serves as an Olympic qualifier for the Paris 2024 global event.
Before this, the Ghana Badminton team participated in South Africa, Nigeria events and a National Open last summer.
A 16-man contingent of players and officials led by Ghana’s Badminton President, Mr Evans Yeboah, has provided a lot of motivation for the players who worked hard tochalk the historic feat considered a significant achievement by any African country in 23 years of the World Championships.
Over 54 countries are in the United States chasing honours, with Ghana presenting a few players for the tournament but registering gains that can only inspire a more significant achievement sooner than later.
BY TIMES SPORTS REPORTER
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