By Babatunde Ogunrinde
Lagos – No fewer than 200 badminton players from 23 countries will converge on Lagos to participate in the 4th edition of the Lagos International Badminton Classics (LIBC).
The championship is scheduled to hold at the Teslim Balogun Stadium from July 18 to July 21.
According to a statement on the website of the Nigeria Badminton Federation (BFN), top players are expected from India, Malaysia and Australia.
BFN said Nigerian players that would be participating in the tournament would have the opportunity of improving on their rakings.
“The highlight of the 2017 edition was the Mixed Doubles finals where Misha and Svetlna Zilberman, (mother and son pair from Israel), the duo defeated Duarte Nuno-Anio and Sofia Setim of Portugal.
“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,’’ the federation said.
Meanwhile, the President of BFN, Francis Orbih, said the 2018 edition would be more competitive than the previous ones.
Orbih described the 25,000 dollars prize money for the tournament as an incentive.
“Increase in the number of participating countries will also undoubtedly raise the competitiveness of the championship.
“The federation is keen on the performance of the Nigerian players in the competition to assess them after participating in different foreign training tours and international competitions.
“We have players are currently in Accra participating in the Ghana International Badminton Championship, which they intend to use as final preparation for the LIBC,’’ he said.
Orbih, who assured the participants of good officiating, said: “We are putting in place necessary measures to ensure good officiating at the tournament.
“Arrangements have been finalised with the world body to assist us with instructors.
“There will be a two-day seminar for the umpires, two top badminton umpires from the world body, Dajee Annirao and Harriet Samugabi, will be on ground to train our umpires,’’ he said.