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Black Queens Crash Out Of AWC

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Ghana’s Black Queens lost on penalties to Cameroon in the final round of qualifying for the African Women’s Championship.

It means that Cameroon will have two major tournaments this year after they reached the London Olympics that kick off next month.

South Africa, who are also Olympic-bound, also advanced to the AWC finals with a win over Zambia.

Holders Nigeria, Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, Senegal and DR Congo will join hosts Equatorial Guinea in November’s finals.

Cameroon and Ghana drew 1-1 on Sunday to make it 2-2 on aggregate to force a dramatic penalty shoot-out.

The Indomitable Lionesses eventually won 9-8 on penalties to knock out Ghana, who for the first ever time have failed to reach the AWC finals.

South Africa scored a thrilling 2-1 victory over Zambia in the second leg of their qualifier to complete a convincing 6-2 aggregate victory.

Portia Modise continued her prolific goal-scoring form by netting her 70th goal in her 91st appearance for the national team in the 18th minute.

The Zambians struck back almost immediately with a goal from Mwila Bowa in the 20th minute after the South African defence failed to clear their lines.

Modise restored South Africa’s lead with a powerfully-struck left-footed effort two minutes into the second half.

“I am happy with the effort of the team and the different combinations we tried,” said Banyana Banyana head coach Joseph Mkhonza.

“It’s also good to see that all the players we fielded put up a good fight.

“As I’ve always said, it’s not always good to rely on certain players but to also give others an equal opportunity to play.

“Now we need to focus on building certain areas like goal scoring.”

The most convincing qualifiers though were Ivory Coast who thrashed hosts Mozambique 5-0 to make it a massive 12-0 overall.

 

Ethiopia also managed to win 1-0 away from home to complete a 3-1 aggregate victory over Tanzania.

Reigning champions Nigeria will be in Equatorial Guinea to defend their title after 4-0 win over visiting Zimbabwe, that made it 6-0 in total.

Senegal made it to their first ever AWC finals but needed penalties at home to beat Morocco after both legs ended goalless.

DR Congo were given a bye in the third round after their opponents Equatorial Guinea were chosen hosts of the finals.

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NYG: Rivers Basketball Team Embarks On Preparations

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The Rivers State Basketball Association,has commenced  preparations for the forthcoming 2021 edition of the  National Youth Games (NYG) scheduled to hold September, this year.
This was disclosed by  Head Coach of the body, Dagogo  Okumgba, yesterday during an exclusive interview with Tidesports, at the state basketball court.
According to him, the team has commenced the preparation, ahead of the upcoming sports fiesta to build and fortify its athletes for the task ahead  and other engagements that may likely come up in the future.
Coach Okumgba explained that the athletes were in high spirit and are doing well in their preparation for the competition, saying that they (athletes) would compete honourably, when the fiesta eventually gets underway.
“The athletes are working assiduously to ensure they compete favourably and are poised for victory at the NYG scheduled to be hosted by Ilorin,  Kwara State,”  Okumgba said.
However, the coach feared team sports might not participate in the competition, as he lamented their (team’s) absence at the National Sports Festival (NSF) held in Edo early this year.
“I think the decision was made as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic to reduce the number of athletes to take part in the festival. I don’t know, if what happened then will repeat itself, considering the third wave of the virus,” he said.
He urged his athletes to keep faith and keep the fire burning, adding that they should not relent in their preparation for the competition, whether or not they take part in the fiesta, the preparation will definitely keep them fit for other engagements.
“ It is better to be ready than not, just as the motto of the Boys Scout, l believe early preparation, being prepared at all times, is one major  key to success,” he concluded.

By: Nancy Briggs

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Covid-19 Scare: Team Nigeria Undergoes Daily Tests In Tokyo

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As Covid-19 cases continue to rise in Tokyo, venue of the 2020 Olympics, Team Nigeria’s camp has resorted to daily testing of the members of their contingent.
Tidesports source gathered that there had been daily reports of athletes and officials contracting Covid-19 at the Olympics Games Village in Tokyo.
The Tidesports also reported that a Nigerian official in his 60s was hospitalised after contracting the virus.
One of the athletes, who spoke with our correspondent on the condition of anonymity, said athletes and officials were taking necessary precautions to ensure they did not contract the virus.
According to him, this includes daily testing and staying away from the public.
“We are doing everything that needs to be done not to contract the virus. We test daily and don’t mingle,” he said.
Another athlete, who also spoke on the condition of anonymity, said it was not the type of Olympics she would have loved to compete in due to the deadly virus. “It has not been easy here trying to adjust to the high temperatures. Covid-19 here is real. Athletes, particularly me, are very careful. Life isn’t easy here at all. Not the kind of Olympics I would have loved to take part in but in all, I’m glad to be here,” she said.
Public Relations Officer of the Nigeria Olympics Committee, Femi Adetula, said the unnamed Nigerian official was already getting better but declined to name the official, saying the NOC was respecting his rights.
“It’s been confirmed that an official contracted the virus. He is in isolation, receiving treatment and he is doing fine. In a matter of days, the official will be out of isolation because of the recovery rate,” he said.

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NBA: Milwaukee Star Anxious To Visit Nigeria – Wants To Learn About His Roots

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Milwaukee Bucks All StarGiannis Antetokounmpo wants to visit Nigeria soon and  cannot wait to learn more about his roots.
Antetokounmpo, who produced a performance for the ages to lead the Milwaukee Bucks to their first NBA title since 1971 after a 105-98 win over the Phoenix Suns last Monday, was born in and represents Greece.
“Obviously, a lot of people don’t know where I’m from. A lot of people think my mom or my dad is from Greece, but no,. Both of my parents are black. Both of my parents are Nigerians.”  Antetokounmpo said.
“I grew up in a Nigerian home, Obviously, I was born in Greece and went to school in Greece. But at the end of the day when I go home, there is no Greek culture. It’s straight-up Nigerian culture. It’s about discipline, it’s about respecting your elders, having morals,” he said.
Antetokounmpo,  who said his original surname  Adetokunbo  was  mispelt  at the Greek Passport office,  hasn’t traced his roots in person yet, but hopes to visit Nigeria either this summer or next summer ,  revealing that he got his Nigerian passport in 2015.
“I want to see where my family comes from, where my mom was raised, see my family, see where my dad was raised. That is very important. I hope my kids can do the same thing for me,” Antetokounmpo said.
Meanwhile, Basketball legend and NBA Hall of Famer, Hakeem Olajuwon said Nigerians were proud of Giannis Antetokounmpo despite the Milwaukee Bucks All-Star representing Greece.
“I’m sure Nigerians are very proud of him, especially because of the way he has conducted himself and how he is dominating the league,” Olajuwon said. He has accomplished a great deal in such a short period of time,” he said.

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