Nine countries among them the United States, Austria and Poland have confirmed participation in this year’s Annual Abuja International Badminton Championship which opens September 30, at the Gymnasium Hall of the National Stadium.
Other countries that have confirmed participation at the international championship are Turkey, Egypt, Uganda, Ghana, South Africa and Mauritius.
Nigeria, which hosts the competition, will also feature her very best players in the event which promises to bring together over 100 of internationally ranked badminton players to compete for laurels.
The championship is coming barely two weeks after the conclusion of the All Africa Games in Congo in which Nigeria won six medals at the Continental sports festival. Leading Nigerian players who at various times were best players on the continent including Jinkam Ifraimu, Ola Fagbemi and Maria Braimah will file out to compete alongside younger but vastly improved players like Grace Gabriel, Tosin Atolegbe among others.
International stars expected to feature at the four- day event are Kate Fookune, the Mauritian who won the female gold in the just concluded All African Games and the male gold medallist, Edwin Ekiring from Uganda.
The President of Badminton Federation of Nigeria (BFN), Danlami Senchi said the tournament had been sanctioned by Badminton Confederation of Africa (BCA) and the World Badminton Federation (WBF).
“This is an international Championship and our aim is to attract the best players of Badminton to Nigeria so we are doing everything to make sure the championship is successful” he stated.
“The game of Badminton holds a lot of promise in our country. We contributed immensely to the medals haul at the just concluded All African Games and our intention is to keep improving the game as we move along,” Justice Senchi stressed.
Secretary of BFN, Miriam Akande, disclosed that all arrangements have been put in place to make the tournament successful.
“As you know security of the players is uppermost in our minds so we have made elaborate arrangements on the issue of security. We have also prepared adequately for the welfare of players and officials” the Secretary stated.
Mrs. Akande assured that crucial items like playing mats, shuttles and other equipment have been provided to meet international standards while the technical crew was working round the clock to ensure quality officiating among others.
The secretary called on corporate bodies and sports lovers to support the game of badminton and particularly the Abuja International Championship so that the desired results will be achieved.