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26 June 2015 | in Universiade 2015, NUSF News, Summer Universiade, Badminton

Nigerian Augustina Sunday wants to impress at Universiade

 

Augustina Sunday (NGR)NIGERIA - One of the stars of the Team Nigeria will be 18 year old Augustina Sunday, an English and Literature student from Benson Idahosa University. She plays Badminton and is ready to move her game to the next level at the 28th Universiade in Gwangju. A champion in her own rights both in Nigeria and outside its shores, she looks to be on a good run going into the games in Korea. She had a very productive year in 2014, picking up silver medals at the Ugandan International Championship and the Ethiopian International Championship. She is also a gold medallist at the NUGA games and the Private University games. In a sit down, she talked about Badminton as a sport, her passion for the game and what she expects from this year’s events.

U-Media: Football and athletics are the main sports in Nigeria. Why badminton for you?

“Well you can say it’s a family affair. My elder brother played the game so it was easy for me to do so too. I started out as a little girl in 2006 at the Abuja Inter-area Council Games. It was really interesting as I got a bronze medal and have not looked back since then. But really, it’s the love and passion for the game that has kept me going and winning too.”

U-Media: How do you feel being considered one of the best in the country though you are still very young?

“It is really a pleasure to be recognized for my hard work. The journey is hard, competition is fierce and I have to work extra-hard to be better than I was yesterday.”

U-Media: What is the spirit in the training camp and what are the expectations?

“The camp is buzzing with anticipation and we are ready. It has been a while since Nigeria had a proper representation at the Universiade. We are feeling very confident that this year we will make a difference. When it comes to sports, the expectations of the Nigerian people are always very high so I try to work hard in training, adhere to the words of the coach and just do my best.”

U-Media: This will be your first out-of-the-continent competition. Do you feel pressure and is there any special training or diet for this event?

“I won’t call it pressure... maybe more of anxiety, I have been preparing for this and I believe I will be bringing my best to the games. As for training, really nothing different. I try to focus mainly on myself and my game, listen to my coach and try to improve where necessary. Playing badminton takes a lot of energy so I eat what will bring out the best in me.”

U-Media: What tactics do you employ in your game?

“I have been working on my play and I get myself mentally ready for the game. I try to bring out the best in myself at every game. Winning is the objective, I like winning and the benefit that comes with it but I remind myself that this is a game and I give respect to my opponent.”

U-Media: What are your expectations for the Games and where to go from there?

“This is my opportunity to make it to the big stages and I intend to take it. I am currently ranked 4th in Nigeria and 573rd in the world, I hope to change all that, and this can only come with a very strong performance at the Universiade this summer. I expect a good outing for all Teams involved and really anxious for the games to get started. The future for me is the National team; playing at the All African Games and hopefully the Olympics in 2016.”

 

Chidiebere Ezeani (NGR), FISU Young Reporter

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