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Enthusiast Bemoans Decline Of Swimming

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Chairman, Lagos State Swimming Association Samuel
Ebito-Jesimiel, has blamed the declining fortunes of the sport in the country
to lack of maintenance of swimming facilities.

He also blamed the misfortunes of the sport on
maladministration.

Ebito-Jesimiel told newsmen in Lagos that in spite of many
swimming pools that abound in the country, the sport was not being promoted.

“We have enough facilities in the country, but they are not
well maintained. We have swimming pools in Maiduguri, Bauchi, Abuja and in
Kano, that are all poorly maintained.

“We may not have water in all these states, but I tell you
we have pools. We have some 25 metre pools in some states in the South-West
that are good enough for training,’’ he said.

According to him, the Federal Government should expedite
action over the refurbishing of swimming pools across the country for the sport
to be promoted.

He noted that some past administrators ruined the sport
because they had no passion for the sport.

“Between the ’90s and 2000, people that were appointed by
government to administer aquatic sports in the country did not have any
knowledge of them and they ruined them all.

“But in 2008, when the sport was concessioned, Babatunde
Fatayi-Williams, who had a passion for the sport, emerged as the president and
began reviving the sport,’’ he recalled.

Ebito-Jesimiel, a member of the technical committee of the
Nigeria Swimming Federation (NSF), identified lack of facilities and poor
funding as the major challenges facing the revival of the sport since its
concessioning in 2008.

He added that swimming had witnessed some progress since
2011, recalling that it won medals at both the 10th All African Games and at
the African Senior Championships in Maputo, Mozambique and Dakar, Senegal,
respectively.

Ebito-Jesimiel noted that the sport had 22 medal prospects
and urged the Federal Government to engage in the aggressive promotion of the
sport, in order to boost the country’s medal haul in continental and global
championships.

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Sports

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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