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Ghana chart course for future at 2023 BWF World Juniors

Ghana are the only African country at the BWF World Junior Mixed Team Championships 2023 and face formidable adversaries in their group. While the Ghanaians did struggle in their two group ties, they have a longer-term plan in place, with their sights set on future events such as the African Games 2024, the Youth Olympics 2026 in Senegal, and the Olympics in 2028.

Of immediate significance is the African Games in March 2024, for it will be held on home soil. With a few of the 10-member junior team expected to be fielded at that event, Ghana are treating the World Junior Championships as testing ground to get the players used to high-level competition. This is only their second time competing at the World Juniors, after 2017.

Yeboah Evans, President of the Badminton Association of Ghana, said the African Games and Youth Olympics were key markers in their 10-year strategic plan that was implemented in 2017.

Yeboah Evans (left), President of Badminton Association of Ghana, with coach Moses Adu at the Commonwealth Games 2022

“As the only African country here, representing the whole of the continent, our goal is to expose the talent that we have to this competition,” said Evans. “The players have physical abilities; the thing we need to upgrade is technique. So being on the world stages informs us better, that there’s something technical we need to do more. We have a high-performance 10-year plan. That’s what we are following. And within that plan, in 2023 and 2024 we must participate in the World Juniors, so we can have that development benchmark with our peers outside the continent.

“Our short-term goal is the African Games. And then, for the first time ever, to qualify for the Youth Olympic Games in Senegal. So this is the team we’re preparing for the Youth Olympics… We have a plan to qualify at least four players to Los Angeles 2028; all these development plans will lead to an outflow.”

Of the 10-member junior team that’s in Spokane, four are expected to play with the seniors in the African Games, while seven will be within the qualification age for the Youth Olympics in 2026.

Preparation for the African Games includes a 21-day training camp with a private academy in Kuala Lumpur in December.

Day 2 Group Results

Group A: Korea bt Norway 5-0; China bt Australia 5-0
Group B: Canada bt Lithuania 5-0: Japan bt Singapore 5-0
Group C: Malaysia bt Latvia 5-0; England bt Poland 3-2
Group D: India w/o Dominican Republic; Germany bt Brazil 4-1
Group E: Estonia bt Georgia 5-0; Indonesia bt Armenia 5-0
Group F: France bt Ghana 5-0; Belgium bt Spain 3-2
Group G: Denmark bt Tahiti 5-0; Chinese Taipei bt New Zealand 5-0
Group H: USA bt Iceland 5-0; Thailand bt Slovenia 5-0

Credit: Badminton World Federation

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