Nigeria’s highest ranked Badminton female player Dorcas Adesokan was among notable players that survived opening day hurdle as hostilities began in the 4th Lagos International Badminton Classics.
No fewer than 250 players from 22 countries are competing for honours in the championship which began on July 18 and ends July 21.
Adesokan defeated Chineye Ebere, 21-13, 21-14 to record her first win in the competition, as number one seed, Muhammad Shamsul-Muzil beat Jafar Umar, 21-15, 21-13 while Godwin Olofuwa strolled pass 21-8, 21-7.
Ranked number four in the tournament Adesokan was joined in the next round by Israeli’s Ksenya Polikarpova ranked third who cruised to a comfortable 21-3, 21-8 victory against Nigeria’s Iyanuoluwa Kayode.
India’s Kudaravalli ranked number two in the competition and Kate foo Kune got Bye to the next round.
Other players who qualified for the next round include South Africa’s Johanita Scholtz who beat debutant Juliet Odigie 21-9, 21-10.
Portugal’s Sonia Concalves beat Nigeria’s Zainab Mommoh 21-6, 21-3 while her sister Adriana Concalves lost to Nigeria’s Amin Yop-Christopher.
In other results Ruth Aiyenugba of Nigeria lost to Indian’s Riya Mookerjee while Felicia Omotola lost to Patricia Akpusugh in the battle of two Nigerians.
Meanwhile, an Iranian Coach, Maryam Abedkhojaster who came with her 19-year-old daughter, Samin Khojasteh said that she was overjoyed when her daughter recorded her first victory.
Samin had comfortable 21-8, 21-8 victory against Nigeria’s Asisat Ogunkanbi, in her first major tournament.
“As a mother and a coach it’s a beautiful thing to see Samin win her first game of the tournament.
“Samin has worked hard during her preparations being her first major championship; I am proud of her.
“We intend to take each game one after the other and wont expect too much, but will give her very best in every contest,’’ Abedkhojaster said.
Meanwhile a veteran of the Lagos Badminton International Classics, Oluseye Popoola said that he was happy to see the competition coming again to Nigeria.
Popoola praised the federation led by Francis Orbih for keeping to its promise of developing badminton in the country.
He said that the federation had maintained consistent championships of great value to the players and progress of the sport.
Popoola also said that it feels good to come around and see so much happening especially the publicity it brings to the players and to the game as a whole.
“The competition is a great boost to the development of the game in Nigeria and the rest of Africa and from the look of things the classics have come to stay.
“Under Orbih, badminton is transforming into a big sport as more top stars from foreign countries are coming in to participate.
“The tournament is a good avenue to get top points for participating players, and for the budding home-grown talents they can play the very best in their country.
“The young players have the opportunity to experience the world at their doorstep, indeed it is a big boost to their game as they can learn so much on how it’s done,’’ Popoola said.
Action will continue with day-two matches at the Molade Okoya Thomas Hall of the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere.(NAN)