Nine countries have confirmed participation for this year’s Abuja International Badminton Championship scheduled to serve off on September 30, at the Gymnasium Hall of the National Stadium.
Top on the list include the USA, Poland and Austria. Other countries that will also feature at the International Championship are Turkey, Egypt, Uganda, Ghana, South Africa and Mauritius.
Host country, Nigeria, will compete with her very best players in the event which promises to bring together over 100 internationally ranked badminton players into the country.
The championship is coming barely two weeks after the conclusion of the African Games in Congo, where Nigeria won six medals in Badminton.
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 and other rising stars.
International stars expected to feature at the four-day event are Kate Fookune, the Mauritian who won the female gold in the African Games in Brazaville and the male gold medalist, Edwin Ekiring from Uganda.
President of the Badminton Federation of Nigeria (BFN), Justice Danlami Senchi, said that the tournament has been sanctioned by the 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 (AAG) and our intention is to keep improving the game as we move along” Justice Senchi explained.
Secretary of the Federation, Mrs Miriam Akande, confirmed 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 also gave the assurance 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 Federation wants corporate bodies and sports lovers to support the game of badminton, particularly the Abuja International Championship so good followership can be achieved.