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2010 W/Cup: Fans Turn To Cellphones To Track Games

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The billions of  fans of soccer’s World Cup, globally the premiere sporting event, will increasingly turn to mobile phones to track the action, according to a Nielsen survey released over the weekend.

More than half of the 27,000 people surveyed in 55 countries plan to follow the popular soccer tournament which is played every four years and begins in South Africa on June 11, Nielsen said in a survey.

Twenty-one percent said they would get information about the tournament on their mobile device and 9 percent would download an application to track the action.

“This event is the biggest in the world of sports by far,” Roger Entner, Nielsen’s senior vice president for mobile insights, said

in a telephone interview.

“In 2010, mobile is really starting to be a medium for soccer fans worldwide to connect with the game.”

The popular FIFA soccer tournament drew more than 700 million TV viewers when it was last played in 2006, including more than 120 million U.S. viewers who watched at least one minute of World Cup telecasts, Nielsen said.

While this is the first such Nielsen survey, Entner said the numbers using cellphones to follow the event will be far higher than 2006.

“The last World Cup, there was no iPhone,” he said of Apple Inc’s <AAPL.O> popular smartphone introduced in 2007.

U.S. smartphone penetration has surged to 22 percent from 3.8 percent four years ago, he said.

In France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK the rate has grown to a range of 21 percent to 36 percent from 4 percent to 10 percent in 2006.

With more powerful, faster devices and networks, those growth trends will only continue with widespread mobile video and TV

being the next step, Entner said.

Of those surveyed, 51 percent said they intend to follow the tournament, including 84 percent in Brazil, 83 percent in Argentina, 76 percent in South Korea, 75 percent in Italy and Portugal, 69 percent in Zambia and almost two-thirds of the people in China, Nielsen said.

“It’s mind blowing. It really shows how it is a global phenomenon,” Entner said.

“We see some of the highest intended usage rates actually coming out of the Middle East, Africa and the Pacific Rim.”

Countries with high planned cellphone use to access World Cup information include Venezuela (27 percent), United States (23 percent) and Brazil (21 percent), Nielsen said.

In fact, in every country in the Middle East and Africa where people were surveyed, the rate was between 22 percent and 30 percent.

“People intend to use mobile to supplement their hunger for information about the game,” Entner said. “If you can’t watch the game live, you’re going to follow it through your mobile device.”

The rates in Europe were far lower — 3 percent in soccer powers Germany and Spain — which Entner thought made sense given most of those countries were in the same time zone as the World Cup and had a higher penetration of TV sets, meaning fans could watch the game live more easily.

Finally, 34 percent of those surveyed picked Brazil as the likely Cup winner, easily outdistancing Argentina, England and Germany.

Entner is rooting for his native Germany but has picked Brazil.

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Athletics: Okagbare Begins Preparation For Tokyo 2020

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Blessing Okagbare, yesterday started her preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics at the National Trials.
The opening day of the Tokyo 2020 National Trials will see Okagbare competing in the 100m against highly rated Grace Nwokocha
Okagbare, the 8th time national champions is the favourite to win the event again, but Grace Nwokocha remains one of her biggest threats.
The American-based track queen won the championship from 2009 to 2014 and returned to win the 2016 edition after missing out in 2015.
Despite her qualification for the Olympics, Okagbare will be hoping to continue her winning streak and go to the Olympics in high spirits.
Apart from the 100m finals expected to take place in the afternoon, there will be shotput men final with all eyes on  Chukwuebuka Enekwechi.

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LAA Holds Lucrative Track Meet, Next Week

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The Lagos State Athletics Association has announced it would be holding a lucrative Athletics Meet on Thursday, June 24, 2021, at the Teslim Balogun Stadium.
Yussuf Alli, who is the Meet Director for the Lagos Open Athletics Championship, made the disclosure on Wednes-day even as he revealed that arrangements were in top gear to have an elite cast of athletes in the one-day meet.
According to Alli, the Lagos Open Athletics Championship will simultaneously serve as a qualifying window for the Tokyo Olympics as well as a preparatory event for athletes that have already qualified for the sporting showpiece.
“This is another fantastic window for those seeking to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics as well as those seeking quality competition to stay in shape for the Olympics,” Alli said.
“The Lagos State Athletics Association, which is one of the most vibrant in the country, is out to organise a world-class event that would be the talk of the town as we count down to Tokyo,”  he added.
The list of events to be competed for at the Lagos Open Athletics Championship include, the 5,000 meters, 400 meters hurdles, 100 meters, 800 meters, 400 meters and 100 meters.
There would also be quality action in the 4×100 meters open, 4×100 meters open and 4×400 meters mixed relay.
Long jump, High jump, Triple jump, Shot put as well as  4×100 secondary schools relay and 4×100 secondary schools relay have all been pencilled down for the maiden Lagos Open Athletics Champion-ship.
Organisers have assured that the top three finishers across all the events will receive handsome prizes for their efforts.

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S’ Falcons Bow To World Champions

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The Super Falcons of Nigeria lost 2-0 to world champions, USA, in their final Group game at the 2021 Summer Series in Texas, USA.
The result means the African champions failed to win any of their three matches at the invitational tourna-ment, drawing one and losing the other two.
Kristen Press gave the Americans the lead on the stroke of half time, and before Lyn Williams killed Falcons hope of getting a draw with the second goal on the dot of 90 minutes.
With the victory, the world number one has now gone 42 games without tasting a defeat .As for the Falcons, the aim of participating in the Summer Series was to prepare them for a crucial 2022 African Women’s Champion-ship eliminator against perennial rivals, Ghana in October.
The African Women’s Championship will serve as qualifiers for the 2023 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

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