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IAAF Athletes Commission Elects New Chairman

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Rozle Prezelj of Slovenia is
the new Chairman of the IAAF Athletes’ Commission, replacing Namibia’s Frank Fredericks, the world athletics ruling body said on Saturday in Monaco.
A press statement by the IAAF disclosed that Prezelj was elected at the Commission’s meeting in Monaco on Saturday, and takes over the position with immediate effect.
Prezelj represented Slovenia in the high jump at three Olympics and four IAAF World Championships.
A European under-23 champion in 2001, Prezelj set a national record of 2.32m in 2012 before retiring in 2014.
Britain’s marathon world record-holder Paula Radcliffe was nominated Vice Chairwoman of the commission.
After an opening address from IAAF President Sebastian Coe, and General Secretary/CEO Jean Gracia also in attendance, the Commission held fruitful and constructive discussions and debates during its meeting.
“I was very pleased to meet with our Athletes’ Commission.
“I offer my deepest thanks and gratitude to Fredericks, the outgoing chairperson, for his unstinting passion and commitment on behalf of athletes everywhere since he was elected in 2011.
“Many congratulations to his successor Rozle Prezelj and to Paula Radcliffe, the vice chairperson.
“They lead the Commission at a crucial time for athletics’ future.
“The Commission’s continued support and guidance is vital as we implement reforms across the IAAF and the sport to rebuild trust, in particular supporting clean athletes and honest competition,’’ Coe said.
Fredericks also said he was delighted to be succeeded by Prezelj, and wished him the very best as Chairperson.
“It’s been a pleasure to lead the Commission working with my fellow members to help promote the needs of the world’s clean athletes, which must be the IAAF’s primary responsibility.
“As an IAAF Council member, I will of course continue to offer a prominent voice in their support.”
On his part, Prezelj expressed that he was most gratified by the show of confidence from his fellow Commission members.
He added that he was pleased they were entrusting him with the big responsibility in these challenging times to represent the athlete community.
“I will do my very best to justify their trust as Chairperson. In taking over from Fredericks, I wish to thank him for his tireless commitment as an ambassador for athletes.”

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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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