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Tombim Tennis Open, Avenue To Gain ATP Points

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Tournament Director of the
Tombim Abuja Tennis Open, Ikani Igabi, said the tournament’s main purpose was to create an opportunity for home-based players to earn vital ATP points.
Igabi told newsmen at a briefing in Abuja to usher in the tournament that the event was therefore a great opportunity for upcoming tennis players.
The Tidesports reports that the male-only tournament, which is now in its second edition, is scheduled for Saturday to April 30.
It is an ATP-ranked tournament, with 35 points at stake, and it will be closely followed by the Dayak Tennis Championship which holds from April 30 to May 14.
“The sponsor, Edmond Ajoge who is the CEO of Tombim Services Limited, is well aware of the difficulties and challenges faced by Nigerian players travelling around the world trying to collect ATP points.
“When the competition started last year, the primary motive was to help Nigerian players gather vital ATP points, and five Nigerian players became internationally ranked in one day.
“One of them, Moses Michael, got to the quarter-finals of the singles in the first week and paired Duncan Mugabe of Uganda to reach the semi-finals of the doubles in the second week.
“So, we are pleased to say that the primary motive of the competition was very well achieved last year,’’ Igabi said.
He however said the tournament was not going to be just for home-based players but also for upcoming players across the world to play in Nigeria.
The Tournament Director also said the event’s organisers would therefore be using the competition to showcase Nigeria in a good light.
“We want to use it to show we are honest, hardworking, friendly and peace-loving people, who are very hospitable to foreigners.
“Also, it is the firm belief of the organisers that an event of this nature will contribute positively to building the structure of Nigerian tennis and image of Nigeria internationally.
The tennis official added that, above all reasons, the organisers were interested in helping Nigeria catch up with their Egyptian counterparts who organise 40 ITF Futures each year.
“We are not interested in organising a one-off competition. Our target is to catch up with Egpyt who organises 40 ITF Futures each year.
“We are also anxious to attract the private sector to invest in sports in Nigeria.
“We have learnt from our experience in organising this competition that the key to having regular competitions is to cut down the excessive fanfare associated with competitions and stick to the bare essentials.
“The thing is for the budget for competitions to be manageable and look more attractive to private sectors.
“Also, this will encourage Nigerians to volunteer their time and resources in organising events like these,’’ he urged.

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WAFU Zone B Qualifier: Rivers Govt Throws Weight Behind Angels FC

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Rivers State Governor, NyesomWike, has placed a marching order to accord the necessary support needed to aid the Jewels of Rivers, Rivers Angels FC  qualify from  the  West African Union(WAFU) B and ultimately win the CAF Women’s Champions League Cup.
The Rivers State Commissioner for Sports, Boma Iyaye  disclosed this, Monday, in a press statement signed by the state government’s press officer, Daniel Nwankwoala.
The commissioner commended the team for its victory over Hasaacas Ladies of Ghana in the opening match of their group qualifier, played at the weekend.
He promised to give the necessary support needed, as ordered by the State Governor, to enable the team get the desired results, playing their CAF Women’s  qualifier and win the cup as well.
“The Governor has placed an order to ensure that the team lacks nothing needed,  to help boost their morale, help them perform optimally and aid victory, as they embarked on this maiden competition,”  Iyaye said.
Earlier, head coach of the team, Edwin Okon,  has expressed optimism that his team will perform even better, having prepared adequately for the competition.
“We will fight to the end, my girls will do even better job. I can assure you that, the(players) are  in high spirit and determined to win.
“I am glad that we don’t have injuries worries, so, we are set and ready to do Nigeria proud,” he added.
It would be recalled that the Port Harcourt, Nigeria representatives started  their campaign in the WAFU Zone B qualifier  with a 2-0 win against their Ghana opponents, Hasaacas Ladies on Saturday, to get closer to qualification for the semi-finals.

By: Nancy Briggs

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Sports Minister Hails Anyanacho,Offiong

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Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, has described Elizabeth Anyanacho as a future star.
Anyanacho lost 12-7 to Turkey’s Nur Tatar in the Round of 16 of the women’s 67kg taekwondo event at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics on Monday morning.
Dare, who watched the bout, congratulated the 22-year-old despite the defeat.
“You’ve done well against a world champion. Keep your focus. The world will soon rise to salute you in the near future,” Dare told Anyanacho.
Tidesports source reports that he was also on hand to encourage Edem Offiong, who lost 4-1 in the second round of women’s table tennis to the USA’s Lily Zhang.
“You exhibited strength and talent. Nigeria thank you for making the country proud at the Olympics,” Dare told Offiong.
The pair of Godwin Olofua and Anuoluwapo Opeyori also lost their second Group B match in the men’s doubles badminton event against Denmark’s Kim Astrup and Anders Rasmussen, while Dorcas Adesokan was beaten 2-0 by Spain’s Clara Azurmendi in the opening Group B match of the women’s badminton singles.

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We Won’t Give Up On Playing For Nigeria – Ogwumike Sisters

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Nneka Ogwumike, Chiney Ogwumike and Elizabeth Williams say they haven’t given up their dream of representing Nigeria in the future after they were denied the opportunity to play for the country women’s basketball team at the Tokyo Games.
The three WNBA stars, who all have American and Nigerian citizenship, would have strengthened D’Tigress squad at the Olympics, but the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled they were ineligible to represent Nigeria at the moment after having played for the United States.
“I still have a lot of pride and high hopes for the Nigerian team as it is composed now,” Nneka Ogwumike said.
“So, maybe this time around, I won’t be a part of it directly, but I certainly do hope that I can be in the future.”
“I think the fight has just begun,” Chiney Ogwumike said. “I cannot accept to being called a naturalised citizen, when I have full citizenship.
“People don’t know the extent to which my family, and myself in particular, ever since I was at Stanford, has been going back to Nigeria to help. So to have someone say that I am not Nigerian is not fair to my family or my heritage or myself. It just does not feel right at all.”
Williams, who plays for the Atlanta Dream said, “It’s really about the principle now. We’re still going to keep appealing and fighting because I think people need to understand there are a lot of us that have dual citizenship. Even if we grew up here, our households look very different than what people think, and that part of us is very real.

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