Monday, 22 Jul 2024

News and Updates from Carnegiecentre

The Journey of Para Shuttler Gbenga Sunday Olanipekun

Olanipekun was determined to reach Spain.

The road to Spain was not an easy one for Para shuttler Gbenga Sunday Olanipekun (SL3). Despite encountering flight issues that delayed his arrival, Olanipekun managed to make it to the Spanish Para Badminton International 2023 in Vitoria just in time for his first match. Losing his opening match didn’t dampen his spirit, as he expressed gratitude for the opportunity and shared his determination to better prepare for future matches.

Remembering a Mentor and Finding Strength in Badminton

Olanipekun’s journey was marked by the memory of his late mentor and brother, Rafio Oyebanji Bello, who tragically passed away in a road accident in April 2021. Despite the loss, the love and passion for the sport of badminton helped Olanipekun find solace and motivation to move forward. He firmly believes that badminton holds the key to his happiness and looks forward to giving his best in each match.

Antti Kaerki and Venla Salo: A Dynamic Finnish Duo

Kaerki (right) and Salo have great on-court chemistry.

Antti Kaerki and Venla Salo, representing Finland, showcased their skills in the SL3-SU5 mixed doubles category. Although they faced a defeat in the second round, both players were delighted to compete together and praised their partnership’s chemistry. Kaerki, who has been playing badminton for five years, spoke highly of Salo’s talent and expressed their rotations on-court worked exceptionally well. Salo, on the other hand, emphasized the joy and new friendships badminton had brought into her life.

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Q: How did Gbenga Sunday Olanipekun overcome the challenges he faced on his journey to Spain?

A: Olanipekun stayed motivated and sought support from a fellow Nigerian along the way, who helped him navigate despite their language barrier.

Q: Who was Rafio Oyebanji Bello?

A: Rafio Oyebanji Bello was a triple gold medallist at the 2018 African Para Badminton Championships who tragically passed away in a road accident in April 2021.

Q: How did Antti Kaerki and Venla Salo start playing badminton together?

A: Kaerki and Salo met through badminton competitions in Finland and developed a strong partnership due to their compatible playing styles and chemistry on the court.


The journey of Gbenga Sunday Olanipekun to the Spanish Para Badminton International 2023 serves as a testament to his determination and love for the sport. Despite the challenges faced along the way, Olanipekun’s resilience and passion shine through. Similarly, Antti Kaerki and Venla Salo’s partnership exemplifies the joy and camaraderie that badminton brings to players’ lives. Carnegiecentre is proud to support and celebrate the accomplishments of these remarkable athletes.

For more information about Carnegiecentre and their commitment to the badminton community, visit Carnegiecentre.