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Para-Athletics: Ekiti Association Plans Talent Hunt Competition

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Head coach of Ekiti State
Para- Athletics Association, Peter Ojo, says the association will organise talent discovery competition for athletes in the state with disabilities before the end of 2016.
Ojo told newsmen in Ado-Ekiti on Tuesday that the planned event was aimed at encouraging persons with disabilities to participate in sports.
“We just want to use the upcoming talent discovery competition to engage them and to encourage them to participate in sports because the stadium is open for them anytime,” he said.
He said that though the facilities needed for the event were ready, the association had not fixed the actual date and month for it due to paucity of funds.
“Currently, our programme for the event is ready but due to the financial situation of the state and individuals, we are yet to announce the date, but I am hoping that we will get a sponsor,” he said. Ojo promised ýthat as soon as the resources needed for the competition were ready, the date would be announced.
The coach stated that interested athletes in all the 16 local government areas of the state would be given the opportunity to participate. “ýIt is painful that since the beginning of the year, we have not been able to organise any competition in order to encourage Para- athletics in the state.
Ojo appealed to sports philanthropists, stakeholders, organisations and indigenes of the state to assist the association fund the competition.

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S’Eagles’ Coach Backs Alex Iwobi To Succeed At Everton

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Alex Iwobi has the potential to become a key figure for Premier League side, Everton, according to Nigeria national team assistant coach, Imama Amapakabo.
The 23-year-old joined the Toffees on a five-year deal from Arsenal for a fee of an initial £28million deal – which could rise to £34million with add-ons.
Iwobi has yet to make his debut for Everton (he remained on the bench for the duration of the win over Watford at Goodison Park this past weekend) but he should see regular playing time for the Merseyside club.
And his move has been given a ringing endorsement from Amapakabo, who is Gernot Rohr’s right-hand man with the Super Eagles.
“I think he has been able to prove himself that he’s a good player, he didn’t just sell himself to Everton, they came for him knowing the reason why they came for him and the role he’s going to play for them,” Amakarkabo told newsmen.
“The league just started in England, let’s give him some time we will be able to have a discussion with anyone that will doubt Iwobi’s capabilities.
“He is a young lad, and he has his football ahead of him so, let us give him all the backing that we need to give him, hopefully at the end of the season, we would be able to take stock of how well he has fared with Everton.”

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Olympic Qualifiers: Injury Scare For S’Falcons’ Oshoala

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Asisat Oshoala has given an untimely injury scare for Nigeria after the striker picked up a knock in Barcelona’s 1-0 win over Montpelier.
The Super Falcons are due to be in action on August 28 when they take on Algeria in the second round of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualifiers before a reserve team fixture in Lagos on September 3.
Oshoala is one of the six foreign professional players invited by Thomas Dennerby for the crucial ties with the North Africans, but Sunday’s incident could see the West Africans miss her services.
The 25-year-old scored her seventh goal in four games, including the friendly’s winner against the French outfit, but was replaced in the 81st minute after suffering a knock. However, the three-time African Women’s Footballer of the Year responded on social media to denounce tensions as she declared herself fit following concerns raised by football fans.
On Monday, a top source corroborated the response of the former Liverpool and Arsenal star, noting, “I’ve confirmed. It’s just a cramp. She is in good shape and okay”.
Tidesports understands the gaffer may be forced to face The Fennecs without the services of his foreign players, largely due to constraints of securing their entry visas to Algeria in good time.
With only six expected from overseas for the home tie, Dennerby is in a race against time to raise a squad from largely inexperienced home-based players, with first leg just a week away.
The Swede is keen to lead the country to the Olympic women’s football event for the first time since 2008 after he led them to the Women’s World Cup Last 16 for the first time in 20 years.
The availability of Oshoala will no doubt be a huge boost in the Super Falcons’ bid to avoid suffering an early exit from the ongoing African qualifying tournament this time.

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First Deaf Player Wins ATP Tour Match

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South Korea’s Lee Duck-hee has become the first deaf player to win a match in the main draw of a tournament on the ATP Tour.
The 21-year-old, who is ranked 212th in the world, beat Switzerland’s Henri Laaksonen 7-6 6-1 at the Winston-Salem Open in North Carolina.
“People made fun of me for my disability. They told me I shouldn’t be playing,” said Lee.
“I wanted to show everyone that I could do this.”
He added: “My message for people who are hearing impaired is to not be discouraged. If you try hard, you can do anything.”
Lee does not communicate with sign language but instead uses lip-reading.
During his post-match interview, his fiancee, Soopin assisted him, clarifying answers for reporters in English.
Britain’s Andy Murray is among players to have come out in support of Lee, adding it must be “difficult” to play without being able to “pick up the speed of the ball” by hearing the sound.
“It’s obviously a huge disadvantage, so to be able to do what he’s doing is a huge effort,” said the 32-year-old, who lost in the first round in North Carolina as he continues his return to singles action after injury.
“We [tennis players] use our ears a lot to pick things up.”
Lee, who faces third seed Hubert Hurkacz in the next round, played his first ATP Challenger Tour event aged 14.
He played mainly in Asia before switching to hard courts in the US, reaching his first final in three years at Little Rock in June.

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