A total of 108 foreign players from over thirty-five countries and 43 Nigerian players are expected to compete for honours at the sixth edition of the Lagos International Badminton Classics taking place at the Molade Okoya Thomas Indoor Sports Hall, Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, Lagos, from the 30th August to September 2nd, 2023.
So far, thirty-seven countries have confirmed participation in the tournament. The countries include Algeria, Azerbaijan, Australia, Austria, Benin Republic, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada and Czech Rep.
According to a statement issued by the President, the Badminton Federation of Nigeria, BFN, Francis Orbih, other countries include England, Equatorial Guinea, Ecuador, Egypt, Ghana, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Israel, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Myanmar, Mauritius, and Norway.
Completing the train are Nigeria, Peru, Sri Lanka, Spain, South Africa, Slovakia, Slovenia, Togo, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, Uganda, USA and Zambia.
Ambassadors of different countries whose players will be participating are expected to be in attendance together with a the badminton loving Governors of Kebbi, Ekiti and Ebonyi states who will all add clamour to the Classics.
The Lagos Classics has been variously described as the highest category of Badminton World Federation-sanctioned championship to be hosted by any African Country.
The rating of the Classics also affords the participants, including Nigerian players, the opportunity to garner points towards qualification for the Paris 2024 Olympics as well as improve their BWF World ranking.
Mr Francis expressed happiness that the competition is staging a big comeback after being off the calendar for 3 years due to the Covid-19 pandemic and its aftereffects.
“We are glad the biggest and flagship event in the African Badminton circuit is back,” the President said.
Orbih thanked the Lagos State Government, especially Governor Babajide Sanwo Olu for sustaining Lagos State’s support and sponsorship of the event calling on other States to emulate the gesture.