International Squash Classics serves off today in Lagos
This year’s Lagos International Squash Classics will serve off today at the Molade Okoya-Thomas Hall of Teslim Balogun Stadium, with top athletes ready to compete for the $20,000 prize money.
15 countries, including host, Nigeria, France, Egypt, England, Germany, Switzerland, Portugal, Ireland, Iraq, South Africa, Belgium, United States, Pakistan, India and Czech Republic will participate in the Professional Squash Association-sanctioned tournament.
The tournament organised by the Lagos State Squash Association and funded by the Lagos State government, with the support of the Nigeria Squash Federation, will be heralded by the qualifying round.
Four qualifiers are expected to break into the main draw from the qualifying round in the men’s category while four will also make it to the women’s division.
Already, eight players have been seeded in the men’s category while four women including Nigeria’s Yemisi Olatunji were also seeded.
Egypt dominate the eight-man men’s seeding list with Karim Ali Fathi topping the rank while Czech Republic’s Eva Fertekova leads the four-man women’s seeding list.
Babatunde Ajagbe is the only Nigerian starting his campaign from the main draw in the men’s event while Olatunji will lead eight other Nigeria players to commence their campaign also from the main draw of the women’s cadre.
With the main draw scheduled to begin on Wednesday, the local players are eager to turn the tide around this term, especially in the men’s event dominated by the foreigners, as the Nigerian athletes have intensified preparations in readiness towards claiming the titles.
According to the Lagos State Sports Commission, the men will share a sum of $15,000 as prize money, while $5000 is allocated for the women’s version.
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