*Hostilities will start today
*Deji Tinubu banks on Team Nigeria to do so well
All is set for the 3rd Lagos International Badminton Classic taken place inside the sports Hall of Teslim Balogun Stadium opposite National Stadium Surulere Lagos.
The Technical Officers meeting took place Tuesday 25th July, 2017. Refresher course for the umpires and line judges is organised to keep them abreast of the modern rules and regulations guiding the game.
The Referee for the tournament is Semugabi Harriet from South Africa, while the BCD of the event is Simeon Mugabi also of South Africa and the Technical Director is Abiodun Akinyemi of Lagos State Badminton Association.
Also in attendance are the senior officials of the Badminton Federation of Nigeria, the Chairman Impairs Association Bolaji Agarawu and one of the resource person Kolawole Robert.
Eleven countries have registered for the tournament starting as from Wednesday 26th – 29th July, 2017.
Singles male & female, doubles and mixed doubles will be the events.
With an increased prize money of $20,000, this year’s tournament serves off on July 26 to 29 with Israel’s Masha Zilberman, ranked 48 in the men’s ranking leading the top players to the mega city of Lagos. In the ladies’ event, Egypt’s Hadia Ann will be aiming for the title ahead of others.
According to the chairman of Lagos State Badminton Association and President of the Nigeria Badminton Federation, Frank Orbih, the classics would attract a great assemblage to best players in the world and it is a unique platform for Nigerian players to compete for honour 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 said.
The expected participating teams are Israel, Italy, Egypt, Uganda, Cameroon, Ghana, Republic of Benin, Sri Lanka and Portugal.
Other top ranked players expected in Lagos are India’s Subhalan Dey (73) and Italy’s Rosano Maddaloci (152). In the ladies section, Grace Gabnel and Dorcas Adenekan (298) will lead Nigeria contingent.
Over 75 men while 36 ladies will do battle at the four-day championship.
Deji Tinubu banks on Team Nigeria: Speaking on the tournament, Special Adviser to the Governor on Sports / Chairman Lagos State Sports Commission, Mr. Deji Tinubu stated that the Badminton Classics is part of a series of Lagos International Sporting events geared towards attracting the best Continental and Global Sports talents to the shores of Nigeria in pursuance of the Sports developmental agenda of the State Government.
He maintained that nothing will stop Team Nigeria from overcoming other competing teams despite the fact that some are from Europe, noting that the home support will be overwhelming for the Nigerian Team.
He said the Lagos State Government through the Lagos State Sports Commission is working in collaboration with the National Badminton Association of Nigeria to ensure that the organization of the tournament meets international standards.
While emphasising that the Classic is also intended to elevate the level of Sports Competition in the State by giving the State’s athletes the needed competitive edge and exposure, Tinubu charged players and supporters to display good conduct during the tournament and coexist in harmony as well as share the joy of the games.
Team Nigeria will be parading the 25 players that represented the country in Ivory Coast and Benin Republic including Grace Gabriel (M), a Holland-based based professional Badminton player and a one-time African Champion in the male categories as well as Dorcas Adesokan (F) who won the women singles in a competition held in Benin Republic.