The Olympics is the top destination for every athlete, as no other tournament in the world provides such a high level of sports excellence and competitiveness. The qualification journey takes a lot of guts and tenacity. The same is true for Godwin Olofua, the professional Badminton player from Nigeria who is currently merging his education in the University of Lagos alongside professional sport. 

The 2020 Summer Olympic game, which is scheduled to take place between 24th July and 2nd August 2021, has 172 slots available for its badminton category. Qualified athletes will be competing in five events: men’s singles, men’s doubles, women’s singles, women’s doubles, and mixed doubles.

There is a difference between the World badminton ranking and Olympic qualification ranking, only athletes that participate in the Badminton Olympic Qualifiers that took place from April 29, 2019 – April 25 2021 are eligible to compete at the Olympics. Therefore, regardless of an athlete’s position in the World ranking, they are ineligible to qualify for the Olympics without playing the qualifiers.

“We started playing the qualifiers in 2019, but had no sponsors and had to sponsor ourselves to tournaments to gain points. In the process, we also sought sponsorship for the Olympics. Due to our performance, we finally got sponsorship from the Badminton Federation of Africa, who sponsored me and my partner, Anuoluwapo Juwon, and a female Badminton player by the name Dorcas from Ogun state.” Godwin explained.

Godwin and his partner Juwon played a couple of games to accumulate the points that placed them in the Top 50 of the world’s doubles badminton ranking.

“We played and won against Ivory Coast Badminton players which gave us a lot of points for the Olympics, we also went to Ghana, Cameroon and won respectively. In Lagos classic we got to the finals, then in Mauritius, Algeria, and Egypt we got to the semifinals.”

Godwin Olofua

“In the continental games, we got to the finals which got us a lot of points for the Olympics qualification, which made us rank number 44 worldwide in the Olympic qualification which made us fit for the “Below 50” qualification beach mark. Afterward, we were sponsored to tournaments in Europe to accumulate more points and to maintain our position on the world ranking. As of now, the Olympic qualification is over and we made it to the Olympics.” Godwin explained.

On the 15th of June, 2021, the World Badminton Federation would publish the list of qualified athletes for the Olympics.

“I’m so grateful to God for keeping me alive to see this very day. I give him all the glory because He has done a lot for me. I have gone through so many challenges in terms of qualifying for the Olympics, I have faced so many difficulties, I have sacrificed a lot, it cost me my education just to qualify for the Olympics. It is a dream come true. I promise to continue to give my best. I’d go there and make sure I give it my best and come out victorious.”