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Tokyo Olympics : 12 Nigerian athletes cleared, eligible to compete

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By Goodluck Ikiebe.

The Integrity unit of World Athletics has cleared 12 Nigerian athletes as eligible to participate fully at the Tokyo Olympics.

These athletes are Blessing Okagbare, Ese Brume, Tobi Amusan, Divine Oduduru, Nwokocha Grace, Patience Okon George, Enoch Adegoke, Imaobong Nse Uko, Itsekiri Usheoritee, Enekwechi
Chuckwuebuka, Emmanuel Ojeli and Samson Nathaniel.

Reigning Nigerian sprint queen and 100/200m record holder, Blessing Okagbare, tops the list of 12 athletes the Athletics Integrity Unit has cleared to compete in the athletics event of the ongoing Tokyo 2020 Olympics which begins on Friday.

Okagbare, who is making her fourth appearance at the games will be competing in the women’s 100m heat on Friday.

Also cleared to contest are sprint hurdler, Tobiloba Amusan, who is ranked number four in the 100m hurdles; long jumper Ese Brume, who tops the world list in her event coming to the games and Grace Nwokocha, the home-based sensation, who clocked 11.09 seconds in March at the MOC Grand Prix in Lagos to seal her qualification for the Tokyo Games.

Others are the trio of Divine Oduduru, Enoch Adegoke and Ushoritse Itshekiri, who will be competing in the men’s 100m, while Oduduru will also race in the 200m, an event he holds the national record of 19.73 seconds, which he set two years ago in Austin, Texas, in the USA, to win the NCAA gold.

Shot putter Chukwuebuka Enekwechi, who made it to the event’s final at the World Athletics Championship in Doha, Qatar in 2019, is also cleared to compete.

The 4x400m mixed relay quartet of Imaobong Nse Uko, Patience Okon-George, Nataniel Samson and Ifeanyi Ojeli are also cleared to compete and will be in action on Friday in the first semifinal heat.

Prince Adeniyi Adisa Beyioku, Secretary General of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria says the athletes are in good spirits as they are determined to return Nigeria to the podium for the first time since 2008 when Okagbare and the women’s 4x100m won Nigeria’s last medals in track and field.

Beyioku is happy the 12 athletes have been cleared to compete and assured that the federation will continue to be the goose that lays Team Nigeria’s golden eggs at the Olympics.

Athletics accounts for 13 of the 25 medals won by the country at the games and two of the three gold medals.

In another development, the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development regrets the unfortunate development of 10 Nigerian Track and Field athletes not meeting the testing conditions of the Athletics Integrity Unit.

A statement by Director Press, Mohammed Manga, however, said that other 12 top Track and Field athletes have been cleared to complete in the Games.

All necessary efforts were made to bring the athletes to date with compliance to the WADA regulations by the Ministry.

The 10 athletes are principally alternate and foreign students athletes, whose tests did not meet with WADA sample collection and analysis standards.

The statement explained that the situation is being managed by the Ministry and the AFN which have requested all athletes in the Games Village to remain focussed to doing our motherland proud.

“It’s worthy to note that the 10 athletes did not test positive for any banned substance, but rather did not meet up with the last of the 3 out-of-competition tests due to the aforementioned reason”, it clarified.

The Ministry also commends the decision of the AFN to appoint Prof. Ken Anugweje as Head of its Medical and Anti doping Commission.


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Breaking: Manchester United crash out of Carabao Cup, Leicester, Arsenal, Chelsea win

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Manchester United on Wednesday crashed out of Carabao Cup after succumbing to West ham.

Two Nigerians – Kelechi Iheanacho and Lookman ensured that Leicester City won their match – 2-0 versus Millwall.

Arsenal beat League One AFC Wimbledon to reach the fourth round of the Carabao Cup and make it three wins in a row in all competitions.

Alexandre Lacazette was making his first start since April and scored a penalty after Nesta Guinness-Walker fouled Gabriel Martinelli.

Emile Smith Rowe then converted from Lacazette’s pass.

Eddie Nketiah’s lovely flicked backheel from Cedric Soares’ cross sealed the win.

The Gunners should have won by more after hitting the woodwork twice.

Dons keeper Nik Tzanev tipped the ball onto his own bar in the first half, and Nuno Tavares later headed off the post.

The Gunners named a strong team, with Nketiah the only member of the starting XI not to play in the Premier League this season.

AFC Wimbledon did not manage a shot on target in the game.


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Man City facing injury crisis as key battles loom large

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Premier League - Manchester City v Southampton - Etihad Stadium, Manchester, Britain - September 18, 2021 Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola reacts after Raheem Sterling scored their first goal that was later disallowed
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Manchester City will have to field several youngsters in Tuesday’s League Cup clash against Wycombe Wanderers as a number of players are suffering from injuries, manager Pep Guardiola said.

“I don’t have any alternative (against Wycombe)… we are going to play a few young players,” Guardiola was quoted as saying by the club’s website on Sunday.

“We have John (Stones), Aymeric (Laporte), Oleks (Zinchenko), Rodri and I think (Ilkay) Gundogan all of them injured.

“It’s a good opportunity for the academy – that’s why they are there.”

Following the match against Wycombe, City face Premier League leaders Chelsea, Paris St Germain in the Champions League and then Liverpool within a space of nine days, meaning the injuries are causing Guardiola a considerable amount of concern.

“Some players might rest for the games we have coming up ahead of us,” he added.

“Ruben (Dias) played all of the minutes so far and Joao (Cancelo) played all of the minutes, too, so I don’t think they will be able to play in this game.”

Source:(Reuters)


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Tributes pour in for football legend Jimmy Greaves who has died aged 81

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Jimmy Greaves MBE 1940-2021 in West Ham United Jersey
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Football legend Jimmy Greaves, best known for his spells with Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea and for his performances for England, has died aged 81.

The striker, who scored more than 400 goals during his career also played for West Ham United and AC Milan and is largely recognised as of the most gifted centre forwards to ever play the game.

A statement released by Tottenham said: “We are extremely saddened to learn of the passing of the great Jimmy Greaves, not just Tottenham Hotspur’s record goalscorer but the finest marksman this country has ever seen. Jimmy passed away at home in the early hours of this morning aged 81.

“We extend our sincere condolences to his wife Irene, their four children, 10 grandchildren and great grandchildren.”

His astonishing feats in front of goal, speak for themselves and many of his records still stand until this day. Not only is he Tottenham’s all-time leading goalscorer with 266 goals he also holds the record for most goals scored in a single season for both Spurs and Chelsea (37 and 41 respectively).

In terms of silverware, Greaves won the FA Cup twice with Spurs as well as the Cup Winner Cup. He also won the Italian Serie A during his single season with Milan and most importantly the 1966 World Cup with England. However, Greaves didn’t play in the final and due to the rules at the time, didn’t receive a winners medal. However, an FA-led campaign many decades later eventually saw Greaves awarded his medal by then prime minister Gordon Brown at Downing Street in June 2009.

Greaves retired from the sport in 1980 but went on to have a successful career as a television pundit and host presenting the hugely popular Saint and Greavsie alongside Liverpool and Scotland legend Ian St John, who died in March 2021.

News of his death has saddened the football world with his fellow professionals, clubs, journalists and fans paying tribute to his remarkable career and talent.

Source: (indy100)


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