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‘National Taekwondo Trials Will Be Highly Competitive’

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An international
taekwondo referee, Emmanuel Oghenejobo, has said that the forthcoming national taekwondo trials holding in Lagos from April 23 to April 25 would be highly competitive.
Oghenejobo told newsmen that the championships tagged “Taekwondo Classics” would serve as trials for the All Africa Games slated for Congo Brazzaville in September.
The trials, organised by the Nigeria Taekwondo Federation (NTF) and hosted by Lagos State government would hold at the Molade Okoya Thomas Sports Hall, Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, Lagos.
He said that opportunities would be thrown open for national athletes of various categories to exhibit their skills, while they are expected to fight in conformity with current principles.
“The championships is going to be highly competitive. I am envisaging upsets and that is why I am advising participants, especially current national championships to be ready.
“The quality of upcoming taekwondo athletes we have now is something that calls for worry for current championships, and I am optimistic that we will get the best in this competition.
“As part of effort to ensure that athletes are familiar with the trends, the electronic scoring system will be used, because that is what is obtainable in international competitions,’’ Oghenejobo said.
According to him, the NTF has concluded arrangements to make use of the service of only seasoned international referees to officiate the event, adding that it is to meet international standard.
The ex-international taekwondo athlete applauded the NTF for the initiative of the trials, adding that such step would provide a fair platform to select competent athletes for international competitions.
“This is transparency to the core, everybody comes to show his or her skill and once he or she meets the set standard and endorsed by officiating referees, it’s final.
“The good thing about it is that there is no room for favouritism, the scoring system is clearly there to score athletes, according to his or her performance during contest,’’ he added.
He expressed confidence that the trials would help the body to identify worthy athletes that would feature at the Games to win laurels for the nation.

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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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