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AYG Games: Umahi Rewards Bronze Medalist With N300,000

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Gov. David Umahi of Ebonyi yesterday rewarded Miss Chidimma Nwankwo with N300,000 for winning bronze in Taekwondo at the last African Youth Games competition in Algiers, Algeria.
Tidesports source reports that Nwankwo, 16, hails from Ezzamgbo, Ohaukwu Local Government Area (LGA) of the state and won the medal in the 53 kg category of the Games.
The state Commissioner for Youth Development and Sports Mr Charles Akpuenika, who made the presentation on behalf of Umahi, said the governor and the state’s sports community were proud of Nwankwo’s achievements.
“We are pleased with your bronze-winning feat at the Games as you had earlier won a gold medal in the same event at the National Youth Games, held in Ilorin, Kwara.
“This token is a form of encouragement to you to work harder and win gold medals for the state and country in your future endeavours,” he said.
The governor noted that budding sport talents across the state would continue to enjoy the government’s support to win more laurels and achieve their life ambitions through sports.
“The provision of modern sports facilities at the refurbished Pa Ngele Oruta Stadium among other centre across the state, has assisted in harnessing these athlete’s talents for more product usage.
“The sports school competition which has been revamped among other grassroots-oriented sports policies have ensured that sports talents scattered around the state are discovered and nurtured,” he said.
Nwankwo thanked the governor for the gesture and noted that it would spur her to greater achievements.
“I aimed to clinch the gold medal at the Games but lost due to technical errors which, however, have been identified and will be worked on.
“I am pleased with my achievements with the highest being the opportunity to ‘fight with white athletes’ during the competition,” she said.
The Ebonyi Teakwondo Coach, Mr James Onwe, who tutored Nwankwo, also commended the governor for the gesture and noted that she would be better prepared for future competitions.
“She is the best athlete in the event’s category in the country and we are happy that she would henceforth compete in the senior category due to her feats,” he said.

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Aiteo Cup: Diri Hails Bayelsa Finalists

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Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has lauded the feat of the state-owned football teams who reached the finals in the male and female categories of the 2021 Aiteo Cup.
Diri, while congratulating Bayelsa United and Bayelsa Queens for their outstanding performances, praised their indomitable spirit and resilience in surmounting the odds to qualify for the last stage of Nigeria’s oldest football competition.
Bayelsa United, who plays in the second tier Nigerian National League, on Friday defeated Premier League neighbours Rivers United 1-0 in the semi-finals, while Bayelsa Queens crushed perennial rivals Rivers Angels 5-0 to reach the women’s final.
The Governor, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Daniel Alabrah, on Saturday, described Bayelsa United as “giant killers” for defeating Premier League sides Enugu Rangers, Lobi Stars and Rivers United on their way to the final.
“The excellent run of Bayelsa United and Bayelsa Queens in this year’s Aiteo Cup is very heartwarming. Both teams reaching the finals is no mean feat. I congratulate them for making the state proud and setting a record of teams from the state playing in the finals of the male and female categories of the same competition for the first time,” Diri stated.
“By their outstanding performance, Bayelsa United and Bayelsa Queens have shown that the sporting revolution of our Prosperity Administration, which resulted in Bayelsa placing third in the last National Sports Festival in Edo State for the first time, is on course. I therefore urge them to complete their excellent run in the competition by bringing home the trophies.

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D’Tigress To Play Mozambique In Afrobasket

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Nigeria’s senior basketball team, D’Tigress, have been drawn to face Mozambique and a yet to qualify team in Group B of the 2021 Women’s Afrobasket, which holds from September 17 to 27 in Yaounde, Cameroon.
The draw was held in Yaounde last Saturday.
D’Tigress will be hoping to retain the title they won two years ago in Senegal, where they defeated the hosts in the final. A win in Cameroon will mean they have won the last three editions of the tournament.
The Nigerians will know their final group opponent when the FIBA Zone 6 qualifiers take place from August 16 to 22.
In Group A, hosts Cameroon will face Cape Verde and Kenya, while Senegal, the most successful team in the competition’s history with 11 first-place finishes, will slug it out with Egypt and Gabon in Group C.
Mali, Ivory Coast, and a team to be decided via wild card will fight for a slot in the next round in Group D.

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Ebonyi Football Fans Celebrate Nwankwo Kanu At 45

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Football fans in Ebonyi State yesterday, celebrated the birthday of formerNigerian international and Arsenal legend, Nwankwo Kanu.
The former Super Eagles skipper turned 45 yesterday.
Tidespoets source gathered  that the 1993 FIFA U-17 world cup winner, fondly called “Papillo’’ by his fans had 86 caps for Nigeria.
The former Iwuanyanwu Nationale Football Club of Owerri’s talisman scored 13 goals for Nigeria in an enviable career that spanned from 1994 to 2010.
Kanu is a recipient of the Member of the Order of the Niger (MON), an Olympic Games football gold medalist and had illustrious club careers with Ajax Amsterdam of Holland, Arsenal and West Bromwich Albion of England.
Defunct Ebonyi Angels FC of Abakaliki Defender, James Onele, said that Kanu thrilled soccer fans across the world with sublime skills and trademark passes.
“Kanu won two African Footballer of the Year awards, an AFCON silver medal, four AFCON bronze medals among other honours.
“He was the first Nigerian, alongside Finidi George to win the prestigious UEFA champions league trophy with Ajax in 1995,” said Onele.
An Arsenal FC supporter, Ejike Okoro, said the club’s fans were proud of Kanu’s achievements during his time with the English Premier League side.
“Kanu played 197 times for Arsenal, scoring 44 goals and was part of the club’s invincible team that did not lose any match in the 2003-04 EPL season.
“He was instrumental in endearing Arsenal to millions of Nigerian soccer fans, despite later dropping to lowly-rated clubs such as Portsmouth and West Bromwich Albion,” Okoro said.
A banker and football enthusiast, Chief Barry Ogoh, told active footballers to emulate Papillo in investing adequately for the ‘rainy day’.
“Kanu, Augustine J.J. Okocha, among other ex-internationals are still financially stable as many ex-internationals have become bankrupt.

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