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11 countries in attendance as Lagos Badminton classic begins

The competition, holding at the Molade Okoya Hall, Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, from July 26 will end on July 29 with 70 players competing for honours.

The organisers in collaboration with the state’s Sports Commission had set aside 20,000 dollars as prize money.

In some of the matches decided at the qualifying rounds played on Match Day One on Wednesday, Nigeria’s Olawale Odunayo defeated his compatriot Tobi Owolabi 21-17, 21-18 to advance to the next round.

Nigeria’s Anuoluwapo Opeyemi also edged pass Ghana’s Ebenezer Andrews 21-8, 21-19 to also birth in the next round.

Abraham Ayittey of Ghana crushed Nigeria’s Ganiyu Sulyman 22-20, 21-9, while Republic of Benin’s Gbenoukpo Degbe overcame Ghana’s Micheal Baah 21-8, 21-5 to set foot on the next round.

Cameroon’s Paul Assembe, who claimed his first game in the competition, was not so lucky in his second game, losing to Ghana’s Emmanuel Botwe, 21-12, 21-10.

Assembe told newsmen after his match that it was a great experience coming to Nigeria to play in the competition.

“I enjoyed myself though I lost in the second game but my first victory is good enough to seed me through for other international competitions.

“I will still be around for the rest of the competition to learn more from others and hopefully help myself to gain necessary experience,’’ Assembe said.

No fewer than 26 matches were held on Match Day One in the qualifying stages for the competition.

Team Nigeria is parading 25 players, while other countries gracing the championships include players from Portugal, Togo, Ghana, Egypt, Srilanka, Jordan, India, Italy, Republic of Benin and Uganda.

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