All is set for the fourth edition of the Lagos International Badminton Classics reputed as the best and biggest in Africa.
According to the President of Badminton Federation of Nigeria (BFN) Francis Orbih, the classics will run through to Saturday at the indoor sports hall of Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos.
It will feature over 200 players from 23 countries of the world. According to chieftain of the BFN, the championship will be attended by top players from India, Malaysia and Australia amongst others who have already made entries.
“It is expected that the competition will be a good test of the Nigerian players, and also help improve their world ranking as they face top players from around the World”, said Orbih who is determined to revolutionize badminton in Nigeria.
The tournament has produced some human interest events. For instance, last year, the Mixed Doubles finals saw Misha and Svetlna Zilberman, mother and son pair from Israel defeating Duarte Nuno Anio and Sofia Setim of Portugal in a pulsating final match.
It was the first time such family ties were brought into a high profile tournament in Nigeria.
The men’s singles finals also had the fans on their feet when Chittaboina Rahul Yadav had to battle fellow country man Karan Rajan for the gold.
Francis Orbih admitted that the 2018 edition will be more competitive than previous editions as the 25,000 dollars prize money at stake is the highest ever.
There is also an upswing in the number of entries compared to the previous ones. According to Orbih, this is expected to raise the competitiveness of the championship.
He however admitted that he is keen to see the performance of the Nigerian players after having participated in different foreign training tours and international competitions.
The players are currently in Accra participating in the Ghana International Badminton Championship, which they intend to use as final preparation for the Lagos International Badminton Classics that will be their first major competition at home this year.