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Tokyo Olympics organisers launch supplementary lottery for tickets



Tokyo Olympics organisers launched a second ticket lottery on Thursday after an unexpectedly high local demand forced them to reevaluate their Japanese sales strategy earlier this year.

Organisers said 5.12 million people had applied during the opening domestic lottery in May with only 960,000 able to get their hands on at least one ticket for their favourite events.

Over three million tickets were sold during that opening phase.

The more than four million applicants who were unsuccessful in that opening lottery will now have a second chance.

This is because some 680,000 tickets are now available in the supplementary lottery for sports such as football, baseball and basketball.

Another wave of tickets will be made available for Japan residents in a lottery later this year, before the final phase of sales in spring 2020.

Between 70 to 80 percent of all tickets have been reserved for domestic sale with the remainder allocated to international customers and sponsors.

Organisers said in their bid for the 2020 Games that 7.8 million tickets would be made available, though the exact figure has yet to be announced.(Reuters/NAN)


(Edited by Olawale Alabi)


Minister mourns ex-Falcons Star, Chiejine



The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare has expressed shock and sadness at the sudden death of veteran national female football player, Ifeanyichukwu Chiejine.

The minister said this in a statement by the Director of Press in the ministry, Mrs Blessing Lere-Adams, in Abuja on Friday.

Dare described the ex-international as a fearless heroine that threaded where few dared.

In a condolence letter signed personally by the minister and delivered to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Mr Dare said her leadership qualities was worth emulating by Nigerian youths.

He said she was determined to succeed in her chosen profession despite challenges.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the late Chiejine captained Nigeria to the inaugural FIFA U19 Women’s World Championship in Canada in 2002

She was also a part of the squad that won the African Women’s Championship that year.

Dare said: ”Ifeanyichukwu Chiejine was taken from us too soon, her life was spent striving for excellence in sports. She was a heroine, who went where most only dream of.

“She won firsts for herself and laurels for her dear country. Our youth must learn great lessons from her life that dreams can come true. Nigeria owes her a great debt of gratitude.

“On behalf of His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, I wish to condole with the immediate and extended family of the deceased.

”I also extend my sympathies to her former teammates, coaches and colleagues, who may feel irreparable loss by her demise. To the NFF, I say accept my sympathies.

“May God grant her eternal rest and comfort her family and the entire Nigerian football fraternity,” the minister wrote.

Chiejine, 36 passed on after a brief illness on Wednesday.

She played for Nigeria women football league clubs like Pelican Stars, Flying Babes FC, Confluence Queens and FCT Queens.

She also represented Nigeria at three FIFA Women’s World Cup in 1999, 2003 and 2007 and was the youngest player at the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup in the U.S.

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NWPL Champions Shield: Be your best to win, Coach urges Bayelsa Queens



Coach Moses Aduku of Bayelsa Queens on Friday urged his players to be in their best form with topmost skills to win the Nigeria Women Premier League Champions (NWPL) Shield on Saturday at the Samson Siasia Stadium, Yenagoa, Bayelsa.

Aduku, a Nigerian ex-international who has viewed the Champions Shield as an actual trophy, told members of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) in Yenagoa, that his players were physically, skillfully and mentally ready to win the championship.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the NWPL be between the 2018 League Champions, Bayelsa Queens and AITEO Cup Champions, Rivers Angels on Saturday.

The Bayelsa Queens won the Nigeria Women Premier League for the first time in 2018 since winning it back to back in 2006 and 2007, while Rivers Angels won their 8th AITEO Cup title beating Ibom Angels.

Both teams are looking forward to crowning up their respective titles with the traditional Champions Shield on Saturday.

NAN reports that Rivers Angels won the Champions Shield 2018 in Lagos.

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12th African Games: It feels good jumping for Nigeria in senior category, says Erhire



As athletics events of the ongoing 12th African Games is scheduled to begin on Aug. 26, Best Erhire, Nigeria representative in the men’s high jump, says he is happy to represent the country.

Erhire, who is debuting in the senior category, told the Nigeria News Agency from Rabat, Morocco that he felt good appearing for the first time in the senior category, promising that he would not disappoint.

The high jump event which is scheduled for Aug. 30 will feature 15 athletes.

“Being my first time in the seniors, the feeling is really good, no mixed feelings at all. I hope to jump up to expectations.

“God willing, I’ll surpass my 2:12m that qualified me for the Games. I just need that push from my competitors,” he said.

The Delta indigene debunked the rumour that he made the team and got selected due to the absence of Mike Edward’s who ranked top in high jump in Nigeria.

“My being selected among the team is not as a result of my mentor’s absence, I will say categorically that if he was here, I would still be listed in the team,” he said.

He also attributed his rising performance to his commitment and God’s grace.

“There’s actually no secret to the past improvement on my performance, I mean every athlete trains like I do or even more, it has been God’s grace and state of mind,” he said.

NAN reports that Erhire won a gold medal at the 2019 African U-18 and also at the U-20 championships in Abidjan.

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African Games: NTRA boss says athletes performing beyond expectations



Ferguson Oluigbo, President, Nigeria Taekwondo Referees Association (NTRA), says the country’s athletes in this year’s African Games have performed beyond expectations by winning first gold medal for Nigeria on Thursday at the ongoing 12th African Games in Morocco.

Apparently happy that the first gold medal came from Taekwondo, Oluigbo told the Nigeria News Agency on Friday that it was a good starting point for the nation in the taekwondo event and he was impressed with the athletes.

NAN reports that Chinazum Nwosu clinched the gold medal in the female 53kg taekwondo event, while Sunday Onofe and Okuomose Benjamin won bronze medals in the 87kg and -87kg male classes respectively.

NAN also reports that the Nigeria Taekwondo national team comprised of eight male and eight female athletes taking part in required events at the ongoing Games.

“I am not always easily impressed but our taekwondo athletes’ performances in this year’s Games has changed that notion in me because they have overwhelmed me with their skills.

“It is obvious that the NTF technical officials did a fantastic job on the athletes during national camp, I must commend them and say a big kudos to the federation.

“On this happy note, I am saying a big congratulations to the taekwondo family and a very big cheers to Chinazum, Onofe and Benjamin for priding Nigeria in the taekwondo event in Morocco,” he told NAN000.

He said the medallists had set the ball rolling for other taekwondoists to follow as they represent the country in their events, adding that they must equally have podium finish.

The NTRA boss said that the victorious performances of the taekwondoists in the Games had increased expectations of Nigeria on the medal table in the thirteen-day event.

“We are expecting more gold medals from the likes of Otuadinma, a 2015 gold medallist in 73kg female class, Ifeoluwa, Okoko, Esuka and others because it’s a medal winning hope for Nigeria’s,” he added.

NAN reports that the 12th African Games which began on Aug. 19 in Rabat, Morocco, with Nigeria’s 427 athletes and officials among other 54 countries featuring 26 sports will end Aug. 31.


(Editing by Peter Ejiofor)

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Newcastle not in crisis but need results- Manager



London, Aug. 23, 2019 Newcastle United’s poor start to the season has been blown out of proportion but the best way for the club to stem the “mini crisis” is to start winning games, manager Steve Bruce said on Friday.

Newcastle lost their first two league games against Arsenal and promoted Norwich City and the low-key performances have made critics question whether Bruce was the right man to replace Rafa Benitez.

Bruce, who is one of the odds-on favourites to be the first manager to lose his job, is also looking to avoid becoming the first Newcastle boss to lose his opening three Premier League games.

“After two games there is a so-called mini crisis. Everything is over-sensationalised,” Bruce told reporters ahead of Sunday’s trip to Tottenham Hotspur.

“There’s always a storm in Newcastle, at the minute we’re in one. The only way I can shut a few people up is by getting results. The buck stops with me.

“It’s not for me to comment on what’s been said… It’s two games and I just want it to be fair and responsible.

“ I know the only way I can shut people up is by winning games and I know the quicker the better.”

Unlike Benitez, who used a back-five or a back-four last season to lead them to a 13th-placed finish, Bruce has deployed a back-three formation which he insists the team will continue to use with Joelinton and Miguel Almiron leading the attack.

“We may tinker a bit and change a couple of things. It’s too early to change formations,” Bruce said.

“It’s new for Joe, it’s new for four or five players. Given time, we hope they can forge some sort of relationship.

“For Almiron, we’re working on getting him higher up the pitch and into a goal scoring position.”

Bruce said winger Christian Atsu was back in training from a hamstring injury and hoped Allan Saint-Maximin would also recover in time from a similar injury to play Spurs.

edited by Sadiya Hamza

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