An unprecedented 419 scrabble players are now in Uyo even as the Akpabio International Classics enters Day Two. Wednesday was a beehive of activities at the Uyo Airport and designated hotels in the Akwa Ibom State capital as reception of guests and hotel allocations occupied most of the day.
A review of the players already in town shows that 86 of them are in for the Masters Category, 89 for Intermediate Category and 171 are registered for the Open Category.
The Veterans Category is not also left out with 53 players, while Mr Larry Ojoko leads a 20-man team of Nigeria Scrabble Federation Technical Officials made up of Adjudicators, Annotators, Commentators and Web Masters.
Speaking on the record entry this year, the Chairman of the Akwa Ibom State Scrabble Association, Umoh Bassey, said he was grateful to the national body for preparing him for the influx of players this year.
“If we had planned based on the figures of last year’s competition, we would have run into logistic problems as we have 80 players more than last year’s participants. The Governor Godswill Akpabio Classics has become so popular that no scrabble player all over the world wants to miss out,” stressed the Akwa Ibom scrabble boss.
After yesterday’s stress of registration and accreditation, the players and officials will today be taken on a tour of development projects in a state that is known for its “uncommon transformation agenda.”
Also planned for today are courtesy calls, a world press conference and official opening ceremony of the Classic to be presided over by Governor Godswill Akpabio.
Top on the list of those expected give this edition more fire is world champion, Nigel Richards, who will be hotly challenged by Pakorn Nemitrmansuk, Komol Panyasoponlert, Thacha Koowirat, Sammy Okosagah, Charles Tachie Menson and Alan Oyende in the Masters Category.
Okoye Charles, Isong Williams and Chris Akraka lead the Intermediate Category while Anthony Odok is top on the Open Category list.
Source: This Day.