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Eight Nigerian Powerlifters Qualify for Olympics

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No fewer than eight

Nigerian power lifters qualified for the finals of the London 2012 Paralympic Games, Mr Samuel Ekeoma, the Technical Director, Para-Power Lifting Federation of Nigeria (PFN) said.

Ekeoma disclosed this in an Interview with the Tidesports in Umuahia that the country won seven medals during the qualifying series in Khorfakkan, United Arab Emirates in October.

The total medal haul included three gold, three silver and one bronze.

The Tidesports reports that Nigeria’s Lovelyn Obiji broke the Junior World Record with a 136kg lift to break the previous record of 120 kg.

“In that competition, the whole eight athletes that we took to United Arab Emirates qualified 10 represent Nigeria and we are still hoping to qualify more athletes because the Federation hopes more on power lifting for more medals to come during the paralympic games.

Lovelyn Obiji broke the world junior record in that competition with the lift of 136 kilos to break the previous record of 120kg and she also went on to set a new world junior record of 138kg that gave her the gold medal in that competition.”

He said that the future of the paralympic games in the country was bright, and that the games had made some disabled persons in Nigeria to become celebrities.

Ekeoma called for sponsorship for the Federation, lamenting that the National Sports Commission had been the only source of encouragement.

The future of Nigeria in the power lifting game is very bright. It’s just a sign of good things to come when we go to London 2012 Paralympic Games.

“Our major constraint here is sponsorship because a lot of attention has been diverted to sports that always bring shame to Nigeria.

But I so much thank National Sports Commission ably led by Dr Patrick Ekeji who have been behind the power lifting success.”

He pealed to corporate organisations to assist in providing kits and others forms of sponsorship to the Federation.

Ekeoma noted that such a move would multiply the fortunes of the sponsors.

“We are calling on corporate bodies to come and brand us as we are going to London 2012. Companies can come to dress us, give us their logos and every other thing.

“We will put it on and go and sell them out there. We are celebrities and whatsoever thing we put on, shows ~that tJ.1ing is a quality thing because we are quality athletes.”

Tidesports reports that further qualifying series would hold in February at a yet to be named country and that PFN hopes to qualify 16 athletes for the London Paralympic game.

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RSG Restates Commitment To Youth Dev Via Sports

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The Special Assistant to the Rivers State Governor on School Sports, Chief Aribitonye Okiri, has said that the state government-led by Chief Nyesom Wike, is committed to develop youths in the State through sports. 
 He stated that it is not in doubt that the State has hidden talents at the grassroots that are yet to be discovered. 
Chief Okiri, said this at the finals of the National School Sports Competition held at Adokiye Amiesimaka Sports Complex in Port Harcourt, on Wednesday.
According to him, Governor Wike is poised to reach out to young ones in all the local government areas, in the state and engage them with sporting activities in a bid to discover hidden talents. 
“As I speak, the governor has reiterated his desire to reach out to the children in all parts of the state and unearth their talents through engagement in sports, believing that all Rivers children are talented” Chief Okiri said. 
Also speaking, the second Vice President of Nigeria School Sports Federation (NSSF), Pastor Emmanuel Ebong, thanked Governor Wike, for proving a worthy partner of NSSF and appeal to other corporate organisations to emulate Nigeria Breweries Ltd in partnering NSSF in sports development. 
At the end of the final competition, Community Secondary School, Okochiri in Okrika Local Government Area, dominated the medal table.

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24 States Set For Lagos Athletics Championship

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The Lagos State Athletics Association has confirmed the entry of 24 states and some clubs for its lucrative Athletics Meet fixed for Thursday, at the Teslim Balogun Stadium.
Yussuf Alli who is the Meet Director for the Lagos Open Athletics Championship made the disclosure at the weekend even as he hinted a few other states may still join the already confirmed 24 states and clubs.
He said: “Yes, we are very much on track for the Lagos Open Athletics Championship which will be coming up this Thursday.
“Right now, we already have 24 states and some top racing clubs that have confirmed their participation, a few more may join before we close the window.”
The Lagos Open Athletics Championship is a one-day meet simultaneously serving as another qualifying window for the Tokyo Olympics as well as a preparatory event for athletes that have already qualified for the sporting showpiece.
In the past days, Lagos has been a beehive of activities with the National trials at the Yaba College of Technology Sporting complex and now the train is moving to the heart of the city in Surulere as the build-up to the Tokyo Olympics continues to gather momentum.
 The list of events to be competed for at the Lagos Open Athletics Championship includes the 5,000 meters, 400 meters hurdles, 100 meters, 800 meters, 400 meters, and 100 meters.
There would also be top-quality action across the relay events including;  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 penciled down for the maiden Lagos Open Athletics Championship.
Already, the top three finishers across all the events have been assured mouthwatering prizes by the organisers.

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Okagbare Sets New Record At Olympic Trials

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Blessing Okagbare will be heading to Tokyo Olympics in the best form of her life after running the second fastest time in the world this season.
The 32-year-old ran  10.63 seconds to win the Athletics Federation of Nigeria Olympic Trials at the Sports Complex of Yaba College of Technology in Lagos on Thursday. 
The 10.63 seconds time saw her tie with Jamaican Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce’ best time in 2021 ahead of the delayed 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Okagbare ran 10.99 seconds in the semifinal of the event to set a new championship record , and before clocking 10.63 seconds in the final to set a new record.   The scorching 10.63 time is also a new African record. Only Florence Griffith Joyner who holds the world record at 10.49 seconds has run faster.        The Nigerian has now emerged one of the favourites for the 100m gold at the Tokyo Olympics alongside Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce who first ran 10.63 seconds this season.

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