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Marathon: ‘LASG On Track To Reposition Sports’

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Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode says his administration has begun steps to reposition sports in the state, assuring that no stone will be left unturned to achieve the aspiration.
Ambode made the assertion as he presented prizes to the winners of the 2nd Access Bank Lagos City Marathon at the Eko Atlantic City, Victoria Island.
Tidesports gathered that Kenyans have again shown their dominance of the long distance races by winning the first four positions in the male and female international elite categories.
The 42km race held on February 11, with 55,000 registered athletes.
Abraham Kiptom of Kenya, who won the first edition showed his prowess by defending his title with a time of 2:15:23, while his compatriots, Ronny Kipkoech Kiboss returned a time of 2:15:25 to be second.
Kiptrotich Kiroi came third with 2:15:30, Tuwei Dickson, also a Kenyan came fourth with 2:16:50, while Dabi Tadesse Yae of Ethiopia came fifth with 2:16:57.
Raimond Bet of Kenya came sixth with 2:17:01 and his compatriot Jonathan Kiptoo was seventh with a time of 2:17:36, while Frani Kiokom Nzyokkeny won the eighth position with 2:18:47 02.
The ninth position was claimed by Regasa Mndaye Bejiga of Ethiopia with 02:19:24, and the tenth position was won by Limo Kenneth Kiplagat of Kenya by 2:20:07.
In the female category, Tanui Rodah of Kenya won the race by 2:37:52, followed by compatriots Fridah Lodepa, in the second position with 2:38:22 and Alice Timbilili with a time of 2:39:02 in the third.
Emily Chekemoi Samoei also of Kenya came fourth with a time of 02:39:22, Birke Debele Beyene of Ethiopia was fifth with 2:40:48 and Sifan Melaku Damisie of Ethiopia came sixth with 2:40:49.
The seventh position was won by Naomi Jepkogei Maiyo of Kenya with 2:42:20; Doreen Nduku Kitaka of Kenya returned eight position with 2:43:50.
Chemweno Elizabeth Jeruiyot of Kenya placed ninth with 02:44:51, while Nancy Joan Rotich of Kenya won with 2:49:22.
Ambode said the success of the tournament marked another leg of the government’s dreams to make Lagos State the destination for sports in Africa.
The governor said the state would continue to explore and attract regional, continental and global sports events to drive home its mission, adding that the all round development of youths through sports remained paramount.
“Our commitment to continue to support our youth in sports development is resolute, a path that we cannot depart from.
“The Access Bank Lagos City Marathon is a testimony to this avowed commitment,’’ he said.
Ambode said it was gratifying that the Marathon attracted the presence of the Athletics Federations Presidents from other countries  and participation of elite athletes from four continents, 15 countries and about 55,000 athletes overall.
Expressing delight on the interest and participation of thousands of Nigerians in the Marathon, Ambode said the event had set a foundational infrastructure to put the state on the world map.
“This mind blowing attendance underscores our determination to occupy a prime place in the Marathon Calendar worldwide and ultimately to be among the top 10 Marathon races in the world.
“My administration will remain committed to supporting outstanding athletes on the local front and ensure proactive measures that will encourage and challenge them to excel.
“We are hugely encouraged by the local participation which coincides with our mission on the Marathon,’’ he said.
He noted that the state’s collaboration with Access Bank Plc, Seven Up Bottling Company, Bet Naija and Eko Atlantic City is a template the government intended to replicate in various sports across board.
Ambode said beyond the Marathon, the government would continue to use sports to drive inclusion and engagement of the citizenry, especially the youths.
He added that Tourism, Arts and Entertainment would remain the cornerstone and pillars of support of his social contract with Lagosians and the international community.
“In support of this, we have put in place a structured process of providing additional sports infrastructure in the various zones of the state.
“The target is to ensure that no child is denied the opportunity of interaction with sports as early as possible in life, while potential for career in sports can be identified for proper development,’’ he said.
The governor announced that the next edition of the Marathon would hold on Feb. 10, 2018.
Mr Herbert Wigwe, the Managing Director of Access Bank, major sponsors of the event, said that apart from showcasing the fact that Lagos is truly a safe place, it had all the traits of world class tourney.
He said the marathon was also a pointer to the fact that Lagos was ready to receive the international world for business.

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Aisha Buhari Cup: FIFA, CAF Presidents Grace Kick-Off, Falcons Win 2-0

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Substitute Gift Monday handed Nigeria a sweet 2-0 victory on the opening day of the maiden edition of the Aisha Buhari Invitational Women’s Tournament in the City of Lagos.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State led eminent political big-wigs, and FIFA President, Gianni Infantino and CAF President, Patrice Motsepe led football’s top echelon, including President of NFF and FIFA council member, Amaju Melvin Pinnick, to the showpiece at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena, Onikan.
Monday, interestingly a player of FC Robo Queens of Lagos, spurned in the air to meet a cross by Captain Asisat Oshoala in the 83rd minute and nodded past goalkeeper Fatoumata Karenta, six minutes after coming into the fray for Francisca Ordega.
The goal put the Super Falcons in the lead after a rather turgid day on Lagos island, with the Malians showing greater zest and desire in the opening half and returning after the recess with the same impressive fighting spirit.
The visiting Female Eagles had survived a raid on their area in the 5th minute as Nigeria looked to go into the lead with a corner, but the defence cleared. Nine minutes later, Ordega sidenetted from another quick dash upfront, and in the 18th minute, Ageusissa Diarra tested Goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie from a 30-yard free-kick.
In the second half, Uchenna Kanu sidenetted in the 67th minute, before Oshoala, who should have scored with only the goalkeeper to beat, failed to get past Karenta. In the 74th minute, Karenta again saved from Kanu.
In the 83rd minute, Monday rose highest in the box and nodded past Karenta, bringing so much excitement to the arena.
One minute into added time, Monday was again at the end of an Asisat’s assist, and looped the ball over an advancing Karenta to put huge smiles on the faces of Nigerians.

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Enyimba Appoints Finidi George As Head Coach

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The former Ajax and Real Betis winger, George Finidi, who replaces Fatai Osho whose contract expired at the end of August, has joined the eight-time Nigerian champions, Enyimba FC, on a two-year contract.
George, a legend of Nigeria’s men’s senior national team, made 62 appearances for the Super Eagles in an illustrious playing career that lasted up to fifteen years.
He was a key member of the glorious era that won the Africa Cup of Nations in 1994 and represented the country at two FIFA World Cups, the 1994 and 1998 editions.
Tidesports source reports that at club level, George won the UEFA Champions League with Ajax in 1995 and went on to play for Real Betis, RCD Mallorca, and Ipswich Town.
His first official game as Enyimba head coach will be the CAF Confederation Cup’s second preliminary round fixture against Senegalese side, Diambers FC in mid-October.
Speaking to Enyimba’s media immediately after putting pen to paper, George said, “I have to say it’s a great opportunity for the club to have this confidence in me.
“I want to thank the chairman, the members of the board, and the supporters for even thinking about me. On my own part, I will be here to just work and do the job. It’s never going to be easy but I’m here to work and make the team win.”
Chairman of Enyimba, Felix Anyansi Agwu, stated that the arrival of George represents a new chapter for the club.
“I believe that the time has come for us as a club to open up a new chapter, a chapter that will showcase the many hardwork that has been going on behind the scene and usher in lots of success.
“For us to have engaged a coach like Finidi George who is coming from Europe is a clear statement of intent about our aspirations,” Agwu said.

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Arteta Sees Light For Arsenal

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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta says he sees a bright future for the club despite suffering their worst start to a season for 67 years.
The Gunners climbed off the bottom of the Premier League table with their first goal and first points of the campaign by beating Norwich 1-0 last weekend.
However, Arteta’s position is still under scrutiny ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Burnley after spending £150 million ($207 million) on new players during the transfer window.
The Spaniard claimed after beating Norwich he had enjoyed the “best 10 days of his career in this industry” during an international break when his side was rock bottom of the table.
And Arteta was equally optimistic on where Arsenal are headed with all six of his summer signings aged 23 or under.
“I’m telling you I’m very positive most of the time. I’ve seen the light and I can see bright lights,” he said at his pre-match press conference on Thursday.
“There can be bumps in the road within that light, but I can see a lot of light.”
Arteta is also hopeful the criticism his squad suffered after defeats to Brentford, Chelsea and Manchester City will only serve to make them stronger.
“It’s tough because it hurts, because you want to see something different. But what you want is not always what happens,” he added.
“Things happen for a reason and maybe what is happening had to happen and it’s going to be really good for the club and really good for myself and everybody experiencing that situation. We have to believe that.”

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