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NPFL/La Liga U15 Promises – Day 1 Wrap & DAY 2 Preview

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NPFL/La Liga

 

A solitary strike from the impressive Samuel Effiong helped Akwa United claim a 1-0 win in their 2021 NPFL/La Liga U15 Promises opener against Abia Warriors at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium on Thursday, Sportivation.com.ng can report.

Abia Warriors had the better of the play, but could not turn their dominance into three points.

According to Abia Warriors coach, Emenike Ezeugo, his boys weren’t lucky in the game.

READ MORE: Official: Ahmed Musa Completes Kano Pillars Move

“The boys tried and played very well. This is the first match and I can’t judge the boys. In our second match, we should hopefully pick it up from there,” he said.

“It was just hardluck, it is not easy to create chances. When you create chances and don’t convert them, then the luck isn’t there.”

“The target is to qualify from the group stage. From there, I will think about the next level.”

Coach Edward Edemekong who tutored the Young Promise Keepers felt relieved with the win.

“I give kudos to the players for their resilience. They were magnificent and got a good result.”

“I think Abia Warriors have a good team. The last time we met, it was 4-1 in our favour. I think they have really improved. I give them a lot of credit.”

READ MORE: Why I Turned Down Mourinho To Join Manchester United – Ighalo

Kwara United and Jigawa Golden Stars settled for a 0-0 draw at the Cathedral.

The Harmony Boys pressed for the lead before halftime, but the teams went into the break level.

It was more of the same after the break as Kwara United continued to make all of the running. It was goalless at full time.

The last game of the day saw Enyimba forcing Dakkada FC to a 1-1 draw.

Emmanuel Edem stunned the Aba boys with a sizzling effort but Chidiuto Emelda helped Enyimba level matters.

Enyimba continued to push forward in the closing stages and had a number of chances to grab a winner, but couldn’t find a way past the disciplined Dakkada FC side.

READ MORE: Delta State To Host Next National Sports Festival

The 2021 NPFL/La Liga U15 Promises action continues on Friday with three matches scheduled to hold at the Cathedral.

Kano Pillars and Lobi Stars will face off in what is an intriguing clash. Both teams will believe they should make the next round, and so victory in this one would be a giant step towards achieving that.

The second match is between Adamawa United and Heartland.

Defending champions, Katsina United will have their hands full against Rivers United.

THURSDAY’S RESULTS

Abia Warriors 0-1 Akwa United

Jigawa Golden Stars 0-0 Kwara United

Dakkada FC 1-1 Enyimba FC

FRIDAY’S FIXTURES

Kano Pillars Vs Lobi Stars

Adamawa United Vs Heartland

Katsina United Vs Rivers United

GOALSCORERS

1 goal

Samuel Effiong (Akwa United)

Emmanuel Edem (Dakkada FC)

Chidiuto Emelda (Enyimba FC)

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FG Appoints John Mikel Obi As Youth Ambassador

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FG Appoints John Mikel Obi As Youth Ambassador

 

The Federal Federal Government has appointed erstwhile Super Eagles skipper, John Mikel Obi as Youth Ambassador to inspire young Nigerians to strive for excellence, Sportivation.com.ng reports.

The event which took place at the NOC secretariat, National Stadium, Surulere Lagos on Friday is another of the Minister’s initiatives geared towards driving a vibrant youth for national development.

Speaking at the event, Minister of Youth and Sports Development Mr. Sunday Dare described the former Chelsea legend as a role model whose lasting legacies in football development have continued to have a positive impact on youths in the country.

The Minister promised to support Mikel’s vision and vision for sports development in the country and assured the Stoke City midfielder of Federal Government unalloyed support whenever he chooses to invest in the country.

“Time will not permit me to say much about Mikel’s success as a footballer. He is our legend and a role model who has continued to impact the lives of youth positively.”

“It is it my pleasure to appoint you as Nigeria Youth Ambassador. It’s a new portfolio and your role as youth ambassador will be made known to Nigerians,” the Minister asserted.”

In his response, Mikel expressed delight with his new portfolio and promised to work with the sports Ministry to foster youth development in the country.
“I feel highly honored to be appointed as Youth Ambassador of this country, it is a great feeling. I am happy with this partnership and I promise to do my best to encourage and inspire the youths towards national development not just in football but in other sports like Basketball, Boxing among others”, said Mikel.

The event was followed by a tour of the National Stadium, Surulere which is undergoing rehabilitation.

The Minister stated that a lot of efforts had been put into the rehabilitation of the stadium with much emphasis on the pitch, scoreboard, tantran tracks, and the spectators’ stand. He stressed that the Ministry had also partnered with a private organization to change the seat of the 45, 000 capacity Stadium to a standard one
“A lot has been put in place to ensure that the stadium returns to what it used to be. The seats are no longer in line with FIFA standard, but we have partnered a private organization to have modern seats in place,” he concluded.

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JUST IN: Osaka Withdraws From Wimbledon

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Japanese star Naomi Osaka has withdrawn from Wimbledon, her agent confirmed Thursday, weeks after the world number two pulled out of the French Open citing her struggle with depression and anxiety. 

“Naomi won’t be playing Wimbledon this year,” Osaka’s agent Stuart Duguid said in an email to AFP. “She is taking some personal time with friends and family.

“She will be ready for the Olympics and is excited to play in front of her home fans.”

On Wednesday, Wimbledon organisers said the 23-year-old four-time Grand Slam champion was expected to take part in the championships, which start on June 28.

“At this point in time she’s entered into the championships and we haven’t received confirmation that she won’t compete,” All England Club chief executive Sally Bolton said.

Osaka has been in the spotlight since withdrawing from the French Open.

She was fined $15,000 and threatened with disqualification from Roland Garros after she refused to honour mandatory media commitments.

French Open organisers protested that they had treated her with “care and respect” after they were accused of being heavy-handed.

Osaka lost in the third round of Wimbledon in 2017 and 2018 and bowed out in the first round in 2019. Last year’s tournament was cancelled due to coronavirus.

Earlier Thursday, two-time Wimbledon champion Rafael Nadal also announced he would be skipping this year’s tournament as well as the Olympics in order “to prolong my career”.

Wimbledon is the second tournament Osaka has withdrawn from since abandoning her French Open campaign after one match.

She also withdrew from a WTA tournament in Berlin following Roland Garros. (AFP)

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Athletics

Okagbare Set New Records In Olympics Trials  

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Blessing Okagbare says she is ready to roll in Tokyo at the Olympics. And Nigerians believe her on the strength of her historic race at the Athletics Federation of Nigeria Olympic Trials at the Sports Complex of Yaba College of Technology in Lagos.           


The 32-year-old scorched to a 10.63 seconds finish to tie Jamaican,  Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce time as 2021 world lead.        


Okagbare says the race has given her renewed confidence of a memorable performance at the delayed 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. 

 Four years ago she didn’t make it to the final of the 100m. She has not ran in any final of the sprint events since 2015 when she raced to an 11.02 seconds finish to place eigth at the World Athletics Championship in Beijing, China. 

Many local watchers of the sport erroneously thought Old Father Time had booked an appointment with the 2014 double Commonwealth Games champion, that her time was up.                                   
Like a true Nigerian, Okagbare never let down her guard as she kept and still keeps working hard to erase that wrong perceptions,  She rose from the disappointment of missing the track, her second home in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic to make a statement at the indoor season, setting two personal bests in the 60m (7.10) and 200m (23.01).  That was 11 years after she last competed indoors.                                   

Outdoors she continued from where she left off indoors, first scorching to a 53.21 personal best in the 400m.  On the strength of that performance, many athletics followers believe the long legged sprinter would become the first African woman to run a sub-22 seconds in the 200m.                          
 No one paid any attention to the 100m until the Sapele-born sprinter raced to a 10.90 seconds personal season’s best at the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Doha, Qatar in May.                            
Okagbare showed a glimpse of what to come at the semifinal of the event at the AFN Tokyo Olympic trials when she effortlessly ran 10.99 seconds to set a new championship record.

 But not many expected she would run faster than the 10.79 seconds Nigerian record she ran in London in 2013.

 Like a bolt out of the blues, Okagbare uncharacteristically stormed out of the blocks in first place and was never headed as she stopped the clock at 10.62 seconds before it was rounded up to 10.63 seconds.                                 

History has been made in front of a supportive Youth and Sports Development Minister, Mr Sunday Dare and the new president of the AFN, Tonobock Okowa who were watching the events live at the venue.

 Okagbare has made further history not only as the first woman to run a sub 11 seconds at the National championship but also the first to break 10.70 seconds.


 Her scorching 10.63 seconds performance is also a new African record. Only Florence Griffith Joyner who holds the world record at 10.49 seconds has run faster.         


The Nigerian has now emerged one of the favourites for the 100m gold at the Tokyo Olympics alongside Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce who first ran 10.63 seconds this season at the JOA/JAAA Olympic Destiny Series 3 meet at the National stadium in Kingston, Jamaica and Sha Carri Richardson, the 2019 NCAA 100m queen who has achieved 10.72 seconds this season.

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