The Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode has raised the prize money for the 3rd Lagos International Badminton Classics from $15,000 to $20,000.
The tournament has been scheduled to hold from July 26 to 29 at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos.
Chairman, Lagos State Badminton Association, 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 will 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, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Portugal and hosts Nigeria are expected to compete at the event.
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 their 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 LSBA for organising this classics, which is also meant to display the excellence of the state,” Tinubu stated.
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