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African Games: Nigeria volleyball team battle-ready, says coach

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Nigeria men’s volleyball senior team is ready to win the event at the ongoing 12th African Games in Rabat, Morocco, their coach, Japheth Nuhu, has said.

Nuhu told the Nigeria News Agency on Wednesday in Abuja that the level of determination and enthusiasm among the players was high.

He said that the team’s preparation for the Games was to make Nigeria proud, adding that they have been in camp for over a month.

He said that the team would also need the support of Nigerian Volleyball Federation led by Musa Nimrod and prayers of Nigerians.

Nuhu said the boys knew what was at stake and would not disappoint Nigerians who were already eager to watch the team’s games.

“The last time we won the gold medal in volleyball was during 2003 Committee for the Organisation of African Games (COJA) held in Abuja, Nigeria.

“We promise not to lower the standard of our game when we get to the 2019 African Games in Morocco.

“We know that the other countries’ teams that are going to participate in the Games are not pushovers.

“So we are focused and by the grace of God, we will do our best to make sure we come among the teams that will mount the podium at the end,’’ Nuhu said.

The coach, however, affirmed that with the level of preparation, Nigerian athletes would be able to face any form of challenges.

“We will excel; our first target is to finish top at the end of the Games, but if by chance we fail to achieve that dream, we have to do everything possible to take the second position,” he added.

NAN reports that Nigeria would be playing against Morocco, Botswana and Mauritius in Group A.

The volleyball event at the African Games serves as a qualifier for the 2020 summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.

NAN also reports that team Nigeria will participate in both Volleyball and Beach Volleyball events at the Games holding from Aug. 16 to Aug. 31.

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Medvedev shocks world number one Djokovic at Cincinnati Masters

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Stunner

Mason (U.S.), Aug. 18, 2019 A resilient Daniil Medvedev stunned world number one and holder Novak Djokovic in the Cincinnati Masters semi-finals on Saturday.

The ninth seeded Russian stepped up his game after losing the first set and took the victory 3-6 6-3 6-3.

“I was so tired in the first set and playing Novak, I thought I’m not going to be able to keep the intensity,” Medvedev said in a courtside interview.

“Then there was one momentum change in the second and I just started playing unbelievable.”

Medvedev, who also beat Djokovic in April at Monte Carlo, will play Belgian David Goffin in the final on Sunday.

The 16th seeded Goffin beat France’s Richard Gasquet 6-3 6-4 in the other semi-final.

“I’m really happy,” said Goffin. “I’ve played the best tennis here in the past few years… It’s a great moment for me.”

A quick break saw Goffin surge to a 4-1 lead with a backhand winner down the line in the first set.

Gasquet grabbed a 2-0 lead in the second set before Goffin claimed five of the next six games.

He won the set and the match when a Gasquet backhand was long.

Goffin had received a walk-over into the semi-finals after Yoshihito Nishioka was forced to withdraw due to food poisoning.

“It was almost a day off, so I was fresh and physically 100 percent today to play against Richard,” the Belgian said.

Goffin added that he was “lost” after the walk-over.

“I didn’t know what to do. Do I have another practice session, go to the physio and have some treatment? I didn’t know,” the Belgian said.

“I decided to go on the court for some practice and do what I normally do after.”(Reuters/NAN)

OLAL

(Edited by Olawale Alabi)

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Manchester City held by Spurs in controversial VAR decision

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Draw

Manchester(U.K), Aug. 17, 2019 Manchester City had a late goal from Gabriel Jesus ruled out by VAR video review as they drew 2-2 at home to Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday — their first league home game without victory in nearly eight months.

An outstanding game of football, with two teams of technically gifted players competing at a relentless tempo was decided by a video review, which spotted a handball which would never have been given under the previous laws on handling.

Jesus drove in what looked like the winner in added time but while City were celebrating, the VAR review had spotted the ball brushing the arm of City defender Aymeric Laporte before the Brazilian struck home.

The new handball ruling has removed the need for intent to be considered. Even accidental contact with the hand is enough to rule out a goal.

The drama — and the bitter feeling of celebrating victory only to end up seeing it taken away — was all too familiar for City who had exited the Champions League in April to Spurs when they had a late ‘winner’ from Raheem Sterling ruled out by VAR.

“To be honest I thought it was a goal. It’s a bit unlucky for City. Anyone can have a different interpretation of the moment. But we are very pleased with the point,” said Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.

“I looked to the screen and realised there was a handball which is good for us and unlucky for City but there are many games ahead. For now we just need to enjoy the moment,” he said.

The drama and controversy will overshadow an excellent encounter which City dominated for large stretches.

Pep Guardiola’s side had taken the lead in the 20th minute when Kevin De Bruyne swung in a cross from the right which Sterling met at the back post with a textbook header.

But City’s advantage lasted less than three minutes as Erik Lamela fired Spurs level after he was expertly picked out by Tanguy Ndombele.

The setback failed to hold back Guardiola’s side and it was no surprise when Sergio Aguero restored their lead in the 35th minute, with De Bruyne once again the provider with a low ball superbly turned in at the near post by the Argentine.

Again City camped in the Spurs half, peppering Hugo Loris’s goal, but once more the visitors fought back.

Mauricio Pochettino sent on Lucas Moura as a substitute and the Brazilian scored with his first touch, beating Kyle Walker to head in a Lamela corner.

Then came the late drama and controversy as VAR once again stole the headlines. (Reuters/NAN)

MUYI/AFA

Edited by Felix Ajide

 

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NYG Elimination: Team Edo male cricket defeats Team Delta

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Qualification

By Monday Ajogun

Asaba (Delta) The Edo male cricket team on Saturday, scored 76 runs while Team Delta scored 74 runs, in the ongoing South South Zonal elimination of the National Youth Games (NYG) in Delta.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the South-South Zonal elimination is held preparatory for the 5th edition of the NYG, scheduled to hold in Kwara State between Sept. 7 and Sept. 17.

Speaking with the Nigeria News Agency shortly after the match, Team Edo Head coach, Theophilus Ibodeme, expressed delight with his players’ performance.

“My team scored 76 runs for the loss of six wickets in 13.4 overs, while team Delta scored 74 runs for the loss of 9 wickets in 19.3 overs.

“Victor Samuel and Courage Adjuwanou both of team Edo bowled 3 wickets in four overs and two wickets in four overs respectively.

“Harrison Diyyo and Reuben Ogereka both of team Delta scored 21 and 15 respectively.

“At the end of the game Edo won by four wickets, and I am sure they would retain the position of the national youth games championship at the end of the competition in Kwara,” he said.

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NYG Elimination: Team Edo female cricket defeats Team Delta

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Qualification

By Monday Ajogun

Asaba (Delta) The Edo male cricket team on Saturday, scored 76 runs while Team Delta scored 74 runs, in the ongoing South South Zonal elimination of the National Youth Games (NYG) in Delta.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the South-South Zonal elimination is held preparatory for the 5th edition of the NYG, scheduled to hold in Kwara State between Sept. 7 and Sept. 17.

Speaking with the Nigeria News Agency shortly after the match, Team Edo Head coach, Theophilus Ibodeme, expressed delight with his players’ performance.

“My team scored 76 runs for the loss of six wickets in 13.4 overs, while team Delta scored 74 runs for the loss of 9 wickets in 19.3 overs.

“Victor Samuel and Courage Adjuwanou both of team Edo bowled 3 wickets in four overs and two wickets in four overs respectively.

“Harrison Diyyo and Reuben Ogereka both of team Delta scored 21 and 15 respectively.

“At the end of the game Edo won by four wickets, and I am sure they would retain the position of the national youth games championship at the end of the competition in Kwara,” he said.

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Funds threaten D’Tigers world cup campaign

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The senior National Basketball men’s team, D’Tigers’ earlier scheduled trip to China in continuation of their preparation for the FIBA World Cup may have suffered a setback over paucity of funds.

The Nigeria Basketball Federation is said to be struggling to raise funds for the tour.

This was made known to journalists on Saturday by the General Manager of the team, Musa Adamu when asked about the team’s planned trip for the FIBA 2019 World Cup in China.

The News Agency ot Nigeria reports that the competition dunks off on Aug. 31, and has Nigeria in Group B with Russia, Argentina and South Korea

Nigeria had lined up series of warm up matches in Shanghai, China to further fine tune the team’s preparations.

However, Adamu said paucity of funds may cause serious blow to the team’s preparations.

According to him, efforts to secure funds from the Federal Ministry of Sports for the trip has not yielded result.

“I cannot tell you exactly when the team is leaving for China, the basketball federation has been doing a lot for this team.

“We started this elimination over a year ago and now going to two years and the federation has been funding the trips for each window.

“Each window, we had to bring players, fly them down, accommodate them and also pay insurance, and all these things have been done singlehandedly by the federation.

“What we’ve heard are just promises from the ministry to support us, but we are still expecting and hoping that they will do so before we leave for China,” Adamu said.

Adamu, an ex international, said that despite plans to adequately prepare the team for the apex global sports fiesta, the unavailability of funds might just be the clog in the wheel of the team’s preparation.

“The team is here in Nigeria, so we hope that they will act because we don’t know when we will leave. There are no funds available for now.

“The federation is looking up to the Ministry with the hope that the funds will be released for us to leave on time.”

Adamu applauded the Engr. Musa Kida led NBBF board for their selfless sacrifice throughout the qualifiers.

The D’Tigers general manager appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to interven, so as to save the country from global embarrassment.

“I wish to appreciate the federation, the President, Engr Musa Kida and the board, they  have been doing so much for this team and basketball and I think it’s time for government to step in and assist us.”

Adamu revealed that the current players in camp are talented, motivated and ready to represent Nigeria well.

“I will like to use the forum to call on the President, His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari to turn his eyes a little bit to the D’Tigers because they are also a national team.

“We are expecting support from him to release funds for our team to be able to participate in this World Cup.”

Adamu noted that Nigeria was the first country in the world to qualify for the World cup, but may end up not participating in the competition.

“We have come a long way. We have a very good, ambitious and motivated team. We really hope that the President will try to help his children, his people, to be able to participate in this World  Cup, ” Adamu said.

Edited by Maharazu Ahmed

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