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The Kwara State Chapter of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) has condoled the state’s Sports Council and the immediate family of Africa number one para-badminton player, Abdulrafiu Bello, who died in a ghastly motor accident on Wednesday.
SWAN, in a statement signed by it’s Secretary, Olayinka Owolewa, described the death of Bello as unfortunate and a huge loss to the African continent.
SWAN said Bello, who is the Kwara badminton head coach was returning from Lagos where he has gone for an interview at the Spanish Embassy, seeking visa for the last round of the qualifier for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.
He was returning to Ilorin after the interview when the accident occurred between Oyo town and Ogbomoso in Oyo State.
The deceased who is the Africa representative on the board of the World Para-badminton Federation, was scheduled to travel to Spain on May 6, for the final round of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics qualifier.
The Standing Lower (SL 4) player, a triple gold medallist at the African Para-Badminton Championships in 2018, is 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.
Bello qualified for the 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.
The remains of Bello was today afternoon buried at the Muslim Cemetery in Irewolede area of Ilorin, the Kwara capital.
He was survived by his pregnant wife and aged mother.