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Super 4 Exposes Top Clubs’ Failings

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The just-ended Super 4
has exposed the many shortcomings of the clubs who will represent Nigeria at this year’s CAF club competitions.
Kano Pillars and Enyimba will feature in the Champions League, while Warri Wolves and Dolphins battle in the Confederation Cup.
The competition, which was expanded to take in the U20 and U23 national teams, lived up to its billing in many aspects as well as highlighted the need for the country’s top clubs to invest more in young players, rather than the usual practice of recycling old and tired legs season after season.
The Super 4 clearly showed Nigerian clubs are not doing enough scouting around the country to fish out young talents and also showcase them.
It was also obvious that the country’s flag bearers are not ready to take on the rest of the continent yet.
Good enough the competition served to alert these teams of their failings so that they could address them before they begin their international campaigns later this month.
Kano Pillars and Enyimba won two games each, lost one and drew one.
Pillars and Wolves showed they have potent attacks after they scored six goals apiece, but a weak defence after letting in six goals each.
Pillars acquisition of Christian Obiozor, who finished as top scorer of the competition with four goals, should now ease the pressure on the team’s top stars like gambo Mohammed and Rabiu Ali.
Wolves won two games and lost three, while Dolphins proved the worst team in the competition when they failed to get a point from five matches and conceded 10 goals.
Enyimba have the best defence after conceding four goals but the worst attack as they scored a mere three goals.
Pillars coach Okey Emordi said, “The tournament served as a prelude for the continental competitions. Without the competition, some of the clubs may not have had any serious pre-season competition.”
Dolphins assistant coach John Apollo said the tournament has opened their eyes to the effects of the departure of some of their players on the team and that it has also enabled them to see the weaknesses of the side.
“Our greatest problem is the midfield which is the engine room of every team. A good midfield provides passes for the forward and covers the defence,” he offered.
“Dolphins would have won if the players had kept a cool head. We have made it clear that we will not entertain indiscipline which also costs us money.”
Wolves coach Godwin Nosike added: “The tournament has brought out the best in our players which ordinary friendly games won’t have.
“I thank the LMC and the NFF for organising this competition, they made it tougher and more competitive with the inclusion of the U23 and U20 teams.”

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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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