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12 States For 2010 Olympic Day Celebration

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No fewer than 12 states will participate in the Olympic Day celebration to be marked nationwide on July 3, the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) has said.

Austin Odigie, the Logistics Officer of the Olympic Day Project in the NOC, told newsmen at the weekend in Enugu that more states were expected to join.

The 12 states are Lagos, Bayelsa, Ondo, Plateau, Niger, Akwa Ibom , Imo, Anambra, Edo, Ekiti, Rivers and Delta.

Odigie, however, noted that it was sad that a state such as Enugu, which was among the first to indicate interest, could pull out of the celebration.

“This is sad for a state that ought to be in the forefront of the celebration, being a state that has produced top Olympic athletes.”

Matthew Idu, the Enugu State Commissioner for Sports, however, said that he had not completely ruled out the state as he was still making efforts to get the government to back its participation.

“We want to keep the Olympic dream alive,” Idu said.

The state only needed to settle the mandatory N40,000 approval fee with the NOC to take part, committee officials said.

The Public Relations Officer of the NOC, Tony Nezianya, said states in the South-East needed to use sports as a vehicle to promote the values of Olympism among their youths.

“The Spirit of Olympism can help to combat the scourge of kidnapping which is fast eroding social values among the youth of the zone,” Nezianya said.

He added that no fewer than 100,000 participants from various states of the federation would take part in the celebration.

The NOC, under the auspices of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), has a programme to accommodate the states and the Federal Capital Territory in the event.

Already, all the commissioners and directors responsible for sports have been sensitised to ensure that their states take part in the celebration, according to Nezianya.

The Olympic Day was initiated in 1987 by the IOC to commemorate the founding of the Olympic Movement under the leadership of “Mr Olympics”, Frenchman Baron Pierre De Coubertin, on June 23, 1894.

The event is aimed at everyone, whatever his or her sporting ability, to practise a sport, run or do an exercise.

The Olympic Day is an ideal platform for highlighting the benefits of physical activity in general, particularly for young people, thus allowing them to learn about Olympic values and put them into practice in their everyday life.

The Olympic Day will be broken down in stages of 3 km, 6 km and 10 km to accommodate various age groups.

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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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