The President of Badminton Federation of Nigeria (BFN), Francis Orbih, on Sunday described the just-concluded 6th Lagos International Badminton Classics as a pacesetter in the history of classics in Africa.
Orbih said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), adding that the Badminton Classics achieved notable landmarks.
NAN reports that the 6th Lagos International Badminton Classics finals held at the Molade Okoya Thomas Hall of Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, Lagos, from Aug. 30 to Sept. 2.
The tournament was won by 22-year-old Brazilian, Jonathan Matias, while the Women’s Single was won by Ines Lucia Castilo-Salazar of Peru defeated Lauren Lam of USA for the title.
Orbih said it was the first time there would be a Brazilian winning the contest after an Israeli duo, an Indian national and a player from Dubai won the previous classics.
He also noted that it was the first time an Africa, and by extension a Nigerian, would play in the quarter final of international badminton classics, a jinx that was broken by Africa’s number one player, Anu Opeyori.
“The just-concluded International Badminton Classics shows that the game is growing.
“This is the first time that an African from Nigeria, Anu Opeyori, got to the quartet final of international badminton classics.
“With this result, it shows that there is hope for African players and of course, Nigerians. We have had different winners but this is also the first time a Brazilian will win.
“The win shows the diversity and the mixture of citizens that came from all over the world to compete at Nigerian organised international badminton classics. The competition will go on to get bigger and better,” he said.
Orbih stated that the Lagos International Badminton Classics had been classified as a pre-qualifying competition for the Olympics, therefore, it would attract more foreign players.
“The Lagos International Badminton Classics is now an Olympics qualifers and an international challenge sanctioned by the World Body, so players will get more points coming to play in Nigeria.
“The national challenge is the highest all over the world and Nigeria is the first to host such in Africa, and right now, we have Uganda and Re-Union. The bigger the competition, the more we have countries interested in coming to play.
“The just-concluded classics is about the biggest now as we had 30 different countries in attendance. Although there were some challenges, we were able to solve them.
“We were able to get sponsors and an intervention from the Lagos State government. We always dream to build this classic as a brand and attract sponsors,” he said.
NAN reports that PS Ravikshra and Sankar Prasad Udayakumar of India defeated the duo of Algerian, Koceila Mammey and Youcef Sabri to emerge winners of the Men’s Double.
Nigeria’s Abduhamid Waheed Musa and Daniel Philip with Jose Guevara and Diego Mini of Peru were joint third.
For the Women’s Double, the duo of Sirran Singhi and Ritika Thaker of India walked over the USA duo of Lauren Lam and Paula Lynn.
The Indian duo of Rutaparma Panda and Swetapana Panda with Amy Ackerman and Deidre Laurens were joint third.
In the Mixed Doubles category, Jose Guevara and Ines Lucia Castilo of Peru defeated Mina Ivanocic and Petra Polanc of Slovenia to emerge winners.
Musa Morroh and Ramatu Yakubu alongside, Dinna Miri and Paula la Torre-Regal of Peru shared the third position.