Tokyo 2020: Nigeria Looses Africa’s Number 1 Para-Badminton Player, Abdulrafiu Bello To Car Crash
The news was announced by Kwara Director of Sports, Ibrahim Alarape, in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Ilorin.
Bello, who is the coach of Kwara Badminton Association, died on Wednesday while returning from Lagos state, where he had gone for an interview with Spanish embassy for the last round of the qualifications for Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.
The deceased, who is Africa’s representative on the board of World Para-badminton Federation, was scheduled to travel to Spain on May 6, for the final round of Tokyo 2020 Paralympics qualifier.
Alarape said the accident occurred between Oyo town and Ogbomoso in Oyo State on Wednesday evening.
Bello’s body was on Thursday afternoon buried at Muslim cemetery in Irewolede area of Ilorin, the Kwara capital.
The player, who was prominent among those confident of achieving glory for Africa at Tokyo 2020 Paralympics, was survived by his pregnant wife and aged mother.
The Standing Lower (SL 4) player, a triple gold medallist at the African Para-Badminton Championships in 2018, was determined to make history for Nigeria and the continent at the Paralympics.
Bello started playing badminton with able-bodied participants 17 years ago, and then decided to take up coaching.
He qualified for 2020 Brazil International Para-Badminton Championship and Spanish International Para-Badminton championships, but was hindered by the COVID-19 pandemic as both countries cancelled the championships.
May his soul rest in peace.