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Maigari Not Setting Target For Nigeria

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Nigeria Football Federa
tion (NFF) President, Aminu Maigari says he is not setting the Super Eagles any targets for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
Despite coach Stephen Keshi’s contract stating he needs to reach the quarter-finals, Maigari has distanced himself and the NFF from the targets.
“You can’t predict the future or make demands going into a big tournament like the World Cup,” he told newsmen.
“I think it’s more reasonable to allow the team take it one game at a time.”
NFF vice-president, Mike Umeh, has been quoted as saying the Super Eagles have the talent to reach the semi-finals of the World Cup.
He also said officials are expecting the African champions to surpass the quarter-final feats of Cameroon, Senegal and Ghana in previous World Cup.
Goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama has even said the Super Eagles can win the World Cup.
“I think it’s unfair to put the team under so much pressure to reach the semi-finals. Some people can openly say things like this, but not the NFF,” Maigari insisted.
“We need to provide the right environment for them to thrive positively at the world stage and give Africa and Nigerians a campaign to be proud of.
“Talks of semi-final, final and probably winning the tournament in Brazil is not coming from the football federation.”
The three-time African champions have not won a match at the World Cup since beating Bulgaria in 1998, which is the last time the Super Eagles made it to the knock-out stages.
In both 2002 and 2010 Nigeria exited the tournament disappointingly early.
Significantly, Keshi has advised Nigerians to set realistic World Cup targets for the Super Eagles, as expectations from the team continue to heighten.
“We have to be realistic because there are no small teams among the 32 going to Brazil, any of the teams will be tough,” Keshi said.
The Super Eagles coach further revealed that he is not looking to avoid any team in Friday’s draws, as he believes his team will excel with proper preparation.
“We have no preference of any of the countries to be our group. All we need do is to prepare well for every team and take the games one after the other.”
In the long history of the World Cup, only three African teams have ever reached the quarter-finals: Cameroon in 1990, Senegal in 2002 and Ghana in 2010.

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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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