Cote d’Ivoire, Benin in as players arrive for Lagos International Badminton Classics

The number of countries expected to take part in the Lagos International Badminton Classics continued to swell, as Cote d’Ivoire and Benin Republic are the latest teams to confirm their participation in the tournament.
Canada is the first country to arrive for the championship at the weekend as more players are expected to arrive on Monday for the tournament, which will serve off on Wednesday June 4.
With this development, the number of participation nations improved to 17 with the likes of United States and France leading other 14 countries to Lagos for the competition scheduled to serve off on June 4 to 7 at the Mobolaji Johnson Sports Centre, Rowe Park.
As the Badminton World Federation (BWF)-sanctioned tournament and it has also been listed as an International Challenge series with prize money of $15,000. According to Confederation of Africa Badminton, the competition is the highest category of championship ever hosted by any African country, while its attendance is also the highest for any badminton international championship in Africa.
Also as part of the efforts to woo back supporters of the game, the board members of the Lagos State Badminton Association led by its chairman, Francis Orbih paid a courtesy visit to Oba Dr. Adedapo Tejuoso, the Osile of Oke-Ona, at the weekend in recognition of the monarch’s immense contribution to the development of the game in Nigeria especially in Lagos.
At the event, the king accepted to be the father of the day during the grand finale of the competition on June 7.
Meanwhile, former African Champion, Oby Edoga believes the tournament would help to revive the fortune of the sport in Nigeria. “Generally, hosting of an international event of this magnitude, puts the particular sport in the limelight, both within the country and outside the country. In particular, the badminton Classics will rekindle interest in the game, which is almost going into oblivion for lack of tournaments. It will also exposure our players to world class standard as well as provide opportunity for our players to garner points and improve their rankings both in Africa and in the world,” she said.
Other nations already confirmed are Botswana, South Africa, Uganda, Ghana, Austria, Italy, Israel, Slovakia, and Czech Republic. The remaining countries are Canada, United States, India and New Zealand.
Five events – men’s single, women’s single, men’s doubles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles will be competed for at the championship.