By Lanre Adesanya
The Lagos State Government is set to play host to 11 countries participating in the 2017, 3rd edition of Lagos International Badminton Classics Championship.
The tournament is scheduled to take place between Tuesday, 25th of July and Saturday, 29th of July, 2017, at the Molade Okoya Hall of the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, Lagos.
70 players in the male and female category, including foreign players from Portugal, Togo, Ghana, Egypt, Srilanka, Jordan, India, Italy, Benin Republic, Uganda, and host country, Nigeria, will feature in the tournament.
The participants will vie in five events – Men’s singles, Women’s singles, Men’s doubles, Women’s doubles and Mixed doubles – during the championship.
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.
Noting that home support will be overwhelming for the Nigerian team, he maintained that nothing will stop team Nigeria from beating other competing teams despite the fact that some are from Europe.
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 organisation of the tournament meets international standards.
While emphasizing that the Classics 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 category as well as Dorcas Adesokan (F) who won the women singles in a competition held in Benin Republic.