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League Season Kicks Off In Egypt

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Egyptian clubs made a belated start to their domestic league season  yesterday, hopeful of completing it after security issues cut short the last two campaigns.

The opening fixture pit Petrojet against Talae El-Gaish, with the match ending in a 1-1 draw.

Five more matches are scheduled for today and four more on tomorrow in the first round of action.

The 2013-14 season marks the return of Al Masry for the first time since the Port Said stadium riot in February last year when more than 70 people were killed at their match against Al Ahly.

Spectators were crushed when panicked crowds tried to escape from the stadium after a pitch invasion by supporters of Al Masry. Others fell or were thrown from terraces.

The violent clashes shocked Egypt and resulted in the 2011-12 season being immediately halted and a host of sanctions for the Port Said club.

Club football then suffered a near year-long standstill before a new season belatedly got underway, only for it to be halted in July after the army ousted the country’s president Mohamed Morsi with one round of the 2012-13 regular season left.

The 22 clubs in the top flight are divided into two groups with play-offs at the end of the season to determine the champions. All games are being played behind closed doors, the Egyptian Football Association announced.

Al Masry have been ordered to play their matches at Suez, while military stadiums in Cairo will host the games of African champions Al Ahly and their arch rivals Zamalek, both of whom command passionate followings. The pair have been placed in separate 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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