I will retain my international title – Nigeria’s draughts champion

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Nigeria’s draughts champion, Doubra Otuku, says he will do everything  to retain his title and win the coveted N1 million prize money in the second edition of the international draught competition beginning in Benin on  Friday.

The News Agency of  Nigeria (NAN) reports that draught is played by two people each with 12 round pieces  on a board of  64 squares.

Otuku, who waded off  stiff  Ghanaian  opposition to emerge champion at the maiden edition  in 2017, told NAN on Wednesday that “I am here to retain my title.’’

“The tournament will become more competitive with the entrance of players from Cameroon, but I am not ready to just give up my title.

“I have heard that some of the Cameroonian players are very good; I have also worked on my weaknesses and I will do everything possible to win the coveted N1 million prize money,’’ he said.

NAN reports that top seeded players from Nigeria, Ghana and Cameroon had  arrived Benin ahead of the three-nation  competition.

Competitors are expected to play in two categories- premier and first division– while winners are expected to cart away cash prizes, including the first prize of N1million.

NAN also reports that the maiden edition, which held in Benin, featured players from Nigeria and Ghana as 43 players battled for the N500,000 star prize.

Osagie Ize-Iyamu, the Chairman of the  Organising Committee, told NAN that  the tournament was put in place  to erase the erroneous belief  that the game  was  for “ lazy or  jobless people   in the society.’’

“Rather, this is one of the most intelligent, strategic and physically engaging sports in the world,” he said.

Mr Mika Amonokhai, the Commissioner for Sports and Special Duties in Edo, at the maiden edition had expressed optimism  that the game  could become a national sport.

“ That is why as a government, we are ready to collaborate with relevant stakeholders to see to the registration and promotion of this sport to the highest level.

“I am also assuring the organisers of this tournament that Edo State Ministry of Sports  under my watch  is ready to partner the organisers  to make the best use of the event, ‘’ he had said. (NAN)

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