Ahead of Nigeria’s first match at the Africa Beach Games in Sal, Cape Verde, the beach tennis coach, Abdulmumin Babalola has sounded confident in his team and says they are good to go.
The first-ever Africa Beach Games gets under way on the island of Sal in Cape Verde on Friday, 14 June. The event sees a thousand athletes from 54 countries on the continent vying for medals in 11 different sports.
The Nigerian team, however, will take part in beach tennis only. The country’s No.1 doubles players, Christy Agugbom and Blessing Samuel will lead the charge in the women’s doubles category, and have Abdulmumin Babalola as coach.
Babalola, who’s still an active player and also doubles as a coach, revealed he was bothered at first, given it’s the first time the country will be participating in a sport of this kind. However, with the training his charges have undergone, he’s now confident in their abilities and looks forward to a fine outing.
“From our local camp in Lekki [Lagos], I was worried because this is our first time,” the 34-year-old said. “That made it very tough for me to put some tactics together for them.
“But right now they’re familiar with the game and with the situation of things right here and with the way I’ve trained them both physically and mentally, we are good to go.
‘”With all the teams I’ve seen here so far and the fact that it is our first time of participating in beach tennis championship, we should come home with a medal,” he added.
The beach tennis will hold from Friday, 14th to Sunday, 16th, with only four teams competing in the women’s doubles- Nigeria, Algeria, Morocco and host nation, Cape Verde.
Nigeria will take on Morocco on Friday, 14th in the second match on Court 1.
On Saturday, 15th, the women will battle Cape Verde on Court 1 from 1:30pm. Their final match will be against the Algerians on Sunday, 16th, and that will be the 3rd match on Court 1.