After several months of intensive preparation, all is now set for the third edition of Lagos International Badminton Classics with Nigeria leading 10 other countries to the annual event.
However, the high point of the tournament is the increase in the total prize money from $15,000 to $20,000 which is the biggest on the continent. The event will hold from 26th to 29th of this month at the Molade Okoya-Thomas Indoor Sports hall of Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos.
The Chairman of Lagos State Badminton Association and President-elect of the national body, Francis Orbhi, at a press conference yesterday said the classics will attract a great assemblage to best players in the world and its a unique platform for Nigerian players to compete for honor and at the same time improve their individual ratings.
“This is the third edition of the classics and prize money is the highest to be won on the continent of Africa. Several top world-class players from the counties participating will be on hand to display their prowess on the court later this month.
“I will want to advise all Nigerian players to make best use of this platform provided by Lagos State Government coming especially in the wake of economic recession facing the nation today,” he remarked.
The other participating countries are, Israel, India, Italy, Egypt, Uganda, Cameroon, Ghana, Republic of Benin, Sri Lanka and Portugal.
The chairman explained that the highest ranked player for the tournament are Masha Zilberman (48) of Israel, Subhalan Dey (73) from India and Rosano Maddaloci (152) from Italy. In the ladies section are Hadia Ann (86) from Egypt, Grace Gabnel and Dorcas Adenekan (298) both from Nigeria.
The total envies for the male event is 75 while 36 ladies will do battle in the other section.
The Badminton Classics was introduced in 2014 but failed to hold last year due to the economic recession facing the country.