Ambode Gives Badminton a Boost

Ambode Gives Badminton a Boost

The Lagos International Badminton Classics, the biggest badminton competition in Africa has received a further boost from the governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode.

According to Francis Orbih, the chairman of the Lagos State Badminton Association and President-elect of Badminton Federation of Nigeria (BFN), the Lagos

State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode has raised the prize money for the third edition of the competition from $15,000 to $20,000.

Coincidentally, the first sporting outing of Governor Ambode when he assumed office in 2015 was the attendance of the maiden edition of the classics.

The third edition is scheduled to commence on July 26, five days after Francis Orbih would have assumed office as the president of the BFN. The tournament will run through to July 29.

Francis Orbih said at a press conference in Lagos on Thursday that Ambode lived up to his promise after attending the second edition of the event in 2015.

“The governor attended the last classics, which had $15,000 as prize money and promised to increase the money; that is why we have $20,000 as the new prize money for the event, which is the biggest in Africa, thanks to the governor,” Orbih stated.

He added that winners in the men and women’s singles categories would pocket $2,200 each, while runners-up get $1,175. Winners and runners-up in the doubles events would also get cash prizes as well as players who reached various stages of the classics.

Players from 11 countries namely Israel, India, Italy, Uganda, Cameroon, Ghana, Benin Republic, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Portugal and hosts Nigeria are expected to compete at the event, which has been moved from Rowe Park to the Molade Okoya-Thomas indoor sports of the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos.

Former champion and world number 50 Israel’s Misha Zilberman is the highest ranked player at the classics while Nigeria’s highest ranked players are Habeeb Bello (299) and Clement Krobakpor (313).

Chairman Lagos State Sports Commission Deji Tinubu said a major reason for the hosting of the event was to help Nigerian players improve in the rankings and also to showcase the rich culture of Lagos.

“The rankings of our players will remain down if they don’t go out to play or we don’t create an event like this that is certified by the world body for them to compete.

“That is why we must commend the Lagos State Badminton Association for organising this classics, which is also meant to display the excellence of the state,” Tinubu stated.

Meanwhile, emerging youngster Anuoluwapo Opeyori, winner of the 2017 Cote d’Ivoire International Futures Series, says he’s prepared to give the big players a run for their money at the Lagos classics.

The 20-year-old said, “I expect to get to the highest level at the event and that is winning it. I have seen the big players play before, and they are beatable. I’m prepared for the challenge”.

1 Comment on this Post

  1. Zainab momoh

    Finally d game badminton is becoming well known, thanks to God for d new Elect president, pray for more improvement, time for me,teammate,family n friends to smile again


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