The Nigeria News Agency reports that the 12th African Games will take place in Rabat and Casablanca, Morocco from Aug. 19 to Aug. 31.
Nigeria male football team is in Group A alongside host, Morocco, Burkina Faso, and South Africa, while Group B consists of Burundi, Ghana, Mali and Senegal.
The Public Relations Officer of NOC, Phemmy Adetula, told the Nigeria News Agency that solid logistics arrangement had been made for the athletes.
He said that the three-man advance team had left Nigeria for the Morocco on Aug. 9, while the Judo team of eight athletes left the country arrived in Morocco on Tuesday aboard a commercial flight.
“The male football team and Beach volleyball team comprising 31 athletes and officials will depart today aboard commercial flight, while the female football team of 26 will depart for Morocco on Aug. 15.
“Also, the badminton, basketball, boxing, canoe-kayak, handball, karate, rowing, swimming, table tennis, Taekwondo, Tennis and volleyball of 320 contingent will depart on Aug. 16 through a chartered flight.
“The last batch which includes: 167 athletes and officials in athletics, cycling, chess, gymnastic, shooting weightlifting and wrestling will travel aboard a chartered flight to Morocco on Aug. 21,’’ he said.
Adetula said that the athletes would be handed over to the NOC in Abuja for further briefing on their conduct.
“Athletes will be handed over to NOC on Wednesday in Abuja and the NOC through the Sports Medicine and Scientific Committee.
“The team has sprung into action by publishing a booklet “Medical and Scientific Commission Tips for Optimal Athletic Performance.’
“The booklet will be shared among federations and athletes to assist them in understanding standard attainable for doping control.
“Nigeria will be participating in 22 sports at the Games,’’ he said.
NAN reports that four zones are expected to host the African Games events, including Rabat, Casablanca, El Jadida and Khemisset.
The opening and closing ceremonies will take place at Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium in Rabat.
The Rabat zone will host athletics, volleyball, basketball, football, weightlifting, boxing, gymnastics, triathlon, table tennis, shooting, equestrian, archery, fencing and tennis.
The Casablanca zone will host swimming, handball, karate, taekwondo and badminton. The El Jadida zone will host wrestling, while the Khemisset zone will host rowing and canoe-kayak.
(Editing by Peter Ejiofor)
Kwara boxers shine in interstate tourney
Kwara boxers have emerged overall winners of the interstate boxing tournament concluded at the Indoor Sports Hall on Saturday after winning six of the 10 bouts in the final of the three-day tournament.
The boxers started their winning streaks with Balogun Qudus out punching Tobi Rafiu of Oyo State in the 48kg while entertaining Ahmed Suleiman of Kwara beat Kehinde Akanmu of Oyo state in the 52kg bout.
Saheed Jamiyu, fighting in the 56kg class, gave Kwara another victory against Rasheed Adeniran from Oyo while Ishola Nurudeen cleared the fourth straight victory for Kwara over Sanmi Sunday of Ekiti in the 60 kg.
The contingent of Oyo State, who also gave good accounts of themselves, claimed their first victory in the 64kg bout when Arewa Ridwan boxed Omolola Oyewale of Ekiti to victory.
Fatai Jimoh, another Oyo State fighter, went ahead for second victory when he out boxed Ismail Jimoh of Kwara in a split decision.
The Oyo State team, in its classical display, got its fourth win in the 75kg and in the only U15 bout as Idowu Rasheed beat Ogundare Ebenezer of Ekiti, while Oladokun Isaac defeated Tijani Issah of Kwara.
The female bouts of the day were anchored by Kwara in grand style as Fausiyat Tijani claimed split victory over Seun Omowaye of Ekiti while Risika Abdulrazaq beat Olamide Oluwamuyide of Oyo State
In his remark at the closing ceremony, Mr Ahmed Rufai, the chairman of Kwara Boxing Association, appreciated the state government for providing the enabling environment for sports in the state.
He explained that the aim of the competition was to bring boxing closer to the youth as “the association is bringing Gotv to Kwara at the end of August to further aid boxing development in state”.
NYG Elimination: Team Delta defeat Team Edo 1-0
Speaking with journalists shortly after the match, Team Edo Head coach, Aghahowa Osayomore, expressed satisfaction with his players’ performance.
“We need three points to qualify for the 5th edition of the national youth games (NYG), which would hold in Kwara State from Sept. 7 to Sept. 17.
“I pray we win our next match against team Bayelsa.
“The penalty we couldn’t convert was a great loss to us and the entire state, after playing 9 against 11, and we got a penalty but we couldn’t convert it.
“It’s a painful loss, but I will encourage them to put this behind them, listen and put my instructions in use in the next match.
“But I want them to understand that they are playing for a state not a club side, you can see how sad everybody is right now.
“I wish I have the opportunity to make changes, but I don’t have, and playing Bayelsa who are 11 players too,” he said.
Edo Sports Commission Chairman, Godwin Dudu-Orumen, urged the boys not to be discouraged, “you still have another match to play”.
“I want you to put your coach’s instructions in the field of play in your next match to see if we can qualify,” he said.
FIBA AfroBasket 2019: Buhari congratulates D’Tigress, assures absolute support
President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated the national female basketball team, D’Tigress, who beat Mali, 79-58, Friday night to qualify for the final of FIBA Women’s AfroBasket 2019 going on in Dakar, Senegal.
The President’s congratulatory message is conveyed in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in Abuja late Friday night.
President Buhari assured the team, reputed to be the best female national basketball team in Africa, of “100 per cent support’’ by the government and people of Nigeria.
President Buhari urged the team to rise to the occasion and make the nation proud.
“Our best wishes to D’Tigress. Win the trophy and conquer the continent one more time,’’ he said.
Nigeria News Agency reports that the D’Tigress face host Senegal or Mozambique at the finals on Aug. 18 at the Dakar Arena.
edited by Sadiya Hamza
Relentless Djokovic beats Pouille to reach Cincinnati Masters semi-finals
Relentless Djokovic beats Pouille to reach Cincinnati Masters semi-finals
Cincinnati, Aug. 17, 2019 Novak Djokovic wore down Lucas Pouille after an even first set, dispatching the Frenchman 7-6(2) 6-1 in a Cincinnati Masters quarter-final in Ohio on Friday.
The match was much closer than when the pair met in the Australian Open semi-finals in January, when Djokovic conceded only four games before going on to win the title.
It took Djokovic nearly an hour to prevail in the first set but he closed out a one-sided tiebreak with a deft backhand passing shot.
The second was one-way traffic as the world number one played with relentless efficiency against an opponent who ran out of answers.
Perhaps the only concern for Djokovic with the U.S. Open looming in less than two weeks was a sore elbow which required brief treatment by his trainer late in the match.
“I managed to finish the match, had a little bit of tightness in my elbow but hopefully everything will be fine for tomorrow,” Djokovic said in an on-court interview.
He will have less than 24 hours to recover for a semi-final against Daniil Medvedev, who continued his recent hot form, ousting Russian compatriot Andrey Rublev 6-2 6-3 in barely an hour.
Medvedev, a career-high eighth in the rankings, faced only one break point.
He has made two finals in the past two weeks, losing to Nick Kyrgios in Washington and Rafa Nadal in Montreal.
In other quarter-final action, Frenchman Richard Gasquet continued his comeback from groin surgery by defeating 11th seeded Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6(2) 3-6 6-2.
Gasquet, who defeated Andy Murray in the opening round, set up a semi-final clash on Saturday with Belgian 16th seed David Goffin.
Goffin advanced when his quarter-final opponent, Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka, pulled out before their match on Friday due to illness.
Gasquet underwent groin surgery in January and returned to competition in May.
“I didn’t play for six months, so it’s great to be back here and reaching the semi-finals aged 33,” Gasquet told ESPN in an on-court interview.
“Goffin is a tough guy, one of the fastest from the baseline, so I will be prepared to battle and to fight.” (Reuters/NAN)
Edited by Maharazu Ahmed
12th African Games: Burkina Faso hold Flying Eagles to 1-1 draw
Nigeria’s Flying Eagles were held to a 1-1 draw by Burkina Faso U20 in their 12th African Games men’s football first Group A encounter at the Stade Hassan Moulay, Rabat, on Friday.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that Ahmad Ghali opened scoring for Nigeria in the 58th minute from a Abubakar Ibrahim corner kick.
However, the Burkinabes U20 side equalised in the 72nd minute despite playing second fiddle for most of the game.
The Flying Eagles had other chances to win the game but were let down by their poor finishing in front of goal.
NAN also reports that Paul Aigbogun’s boys will take on the Amajita of South Africa in their next game on Tuesday at the same venue.
The football event of the games began on Friday ahead of the opening ceremony scheduled for Rabat on Monday, the Games will end on Aug. 31.