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Nasarawa Stakeholders Label Eagles Late Bloomers

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Some Stakeholders and
football fans in Nigeria have expressed confidence in the Nigerian Super Eagles but label them as ‘late bloomers’ who always leave it late before getting the desired result.
They aired their opinions in separate interviews last week.
Football teams across the continent, including the Nigerian Super Eagles are presently engaged in a series of qualifiers for a slot at the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) competition to be held in Morocco.
The Super Eagles, who are grouped in Group A with South Africa, Congo and Sudan, beat the Sudanese 3 goals to 1 to climb to third position on the log with four points.
Former Commissioner for Youth and Sports, in Nasarawa State  Mr Godwin Mbatav,  said he was optimistic the Super Eagles would win their remaining matches.
He, however, frowned at the manner in which the national side often achieve its desired results.
“The Super Eagles will make it. You saw what they played in Abuja against Sudan. You know they normally wake up at the last minute.
“That is what we are facing in the country right now. We are always used to blooming late, that is the problem.
“You will notice that, at the beginning, they won’t give the competition the seriousness it deserves until when it gets to a situation when they have to win at all costs, then they wake up.
Special Adviser to Governor Umaru Al-Makura on Youth and Sports Development, Mr Silas Agara  also expressed confidence in the Eagles.
Agara, however, blamed the football authorities and management of the team for the current situation the Eagles find themselves.
“If we can beat Congo and South Africa, we will qualify, but honestly, I am not happy with the way we do things in the country.
“At this stage, we should have qualified and be using the remaining games as friendlies for our boys but that is not the case.
“Honestly, I blame those handling the boys for the situation we are in. but I have not written the team off in as much as we are coming up late.
“I have not written the team off yet. But, we need to stop this tradition of having the knife on our neck before performing,” he said.
Public Relations Officer of Nasarawa Amazons Football Club, Alhaji Salisu Adamu,  expressed disappointment in the Super Eagles inability to demoralise their opponents with early goals.
Adamu, however, expressed confidence that they would qualify for the AFCON 2015.
“The Super Eagles are supposed to go for early goals so as to demoralise their opponents. Look at what happened in Namibia with our girls.
“Almost three minutes, they scored three goals. If they act like that, no matter how strong their opponents are, they will be demoralised.
“See what happened yesterday, because, after the Sudanese equalised, they began to grow in confidence.
“But if we had scored early goals, they would have lost confidence even before the start of the second half.
Lafia resident, Miss Taiwo Ojetaye,  said it would take a miracle for the national team side to qualify for the AFCON tournament, blaming the situation on poor preparation and bad start.
“We started very poorly and now it has affected us seriously. If we don’t win our remaining games, I seriously doubt we will make it.
“Now we are left to be playing with very serious pressure on us. All our remaining matches must be won.” she said.
a football enthusiast in Lafia, Mr Abdul Ahmed,  queried the attitude of the team and called for its total reshuffle for optimal results.

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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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