Tournament

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Ok, it’s not so much about pictures, but what do you do when you enjoyed shooting them? It was the second edition of the Lagos International Badminton Classics, the second time I was shooting the event. I thoroughly enjoyed it, because this time I was in a more comfortable place.

I shot the first edition of the event which hosted 16 nations. This year, there were 28 nations. The event is getting more recognition, and yes, the price money increased.

I recall the first time I played badminton, in the long vacation that followed the junior secondary school examinations in Federal Government College, Okigwe. We converted the backyard of our house into a quasi-court, brought out rackets and the net from mother’s box (she studied Physical and Health education, and so had all these sports equipment) after a few swings of the racket, I gave up. It seemed tedious work.

Watching the professionals play it, I admired their gracefulness, their poise as they waited for the shuttlecock which seemed to glide in the air, and the strength with which the players struck the shuttlecock. They flailed, swung and dived into the air, sometimes staying suspended as if to defy gravity of its hold of reality.

The first edition of the Lagos International Badminton Classics ended for me on a sad note. I was robbed of cameras, lenses, laptop etc. on my way home from the exhaustive photo shoot. It has taken nearly a year to replace the equipment, and this time I was prepared. I also realize the wisdom of not moving around late with your equipment.

The newly elected governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode was there on the last day of the tournament to hand out trophies and pledge the state’s continued support for the sport.Also in attendance was the Director General, National Sports Commission, Alhaji Alhassan Yakmu. During the qualifiers, the expansive hall accommodated the play of four sets at a go. It was a very grand event. And when the event ended, I didn’t go home to far-away Ajah. I stayed at a nearby hotel. I have learned. Maybe I will swing the racket better, if I take to the sport beyond shooting during tournaments.

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