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Dalung Hails Flying Eagles’ World Cup Qualification

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The Minister of Youths and Sports, Solomon Dalung, at the weekend congratulated the Flying Eagles on their qualification for the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Poland.
A statement by the minister’s Special Assistant on Media, Nneka Ikem-Anibeze, said that the Flying Eagles finished top of Group A after beating hosts Niger Republic at home 1-0 to pick one of the four tickets at the 2019 U-20 Africa Cup of Nations.
“I congratulate you for picking one of the four slots for Africa to play at the World Cup in Poland.
“I have followed the team’s progress in the group stage and I am impressed by their youthful skills, determination and teamwork.
“I commend you for your performance so far in the African Championship and I pray that you scale through your semi final match against Mali and possibly win the trophy. ” he said.
Nigeria would take on Mali in the first semifinal on Wednesday. Mali edged out Ghana by a lone goal to qualify.
The second semi final game would be between Group B leaders Senegal and runners -up South Africa.
The FIFA U-20 World Cup holding this year in Poland from May 23 – June 15 would feature Africa’s four semi-finalists.

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Tokyo 2020: Nigerian Wrestlers Are Medal Hopefuls -Coach

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National wrestling coach Akuh Purity, has stated that Nigerian wrestlers going to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics have real medal chances this time, compared to the 2016 Olympics with less than a month to the games in Tokyo.
Purity, speaking in a chat with Tidesports source stressed that better exposure and competition experience already put the Nigerian wrestlers as medal prospects.
He added that the wrestlers had actually competed against the very best in the world in the run-in to the Tokyo Olympics and have an idea of almost whatever anyone of the top guns will offer.

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Ex-D’Tigers Player Becomes NBA Head Coach

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Former D’tigers player Ime Udoka has been appointed the new coach for Boston Celtics in the NBA.
Udoka had been considered a front-runner for the job, as ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported last Friday that Udoka was among the candidates who received second interviews.
Udoka, 43, spent seven years on Gregg Popovich’s staff in San Antonio, including the 2013-14 season, when the Spurs won the NBA title.
He joined the Philadelphia 76ers in 2019 and was with the Nets last year.
Udoka was a member of the Nigerian national team, for whom he played at the 2006 FIBA World Championships.

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B/Volleyball: Nigeria Defeats Kenya In Olympic Qualifiers

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Nigeria beat Kenya 2-1 (21-13, 19-21, 15-13) in the golden match to record their first win in the men’s category of the Tokyo Beach Volleyball Olympic Qualifiers in Morocco.
Nigeria Team A (Obayemi Ogunshina and Hilary Simon) lost to Kenya Team B 0-2 (15-21, 13-21) in the first encounter before Nigeria Team B consisting of Emenike Ezike and Emmanuel Chidebere defeated Kenya Team A (21-16, 21-16) in the second encounter.
The head coach of Nigeria beach volleyball team, Francis Imoudu commended the players for putting all their effort against Kenya.
Imoudu stated that Kenya gave Nigeria a good fight but the better side won the game.
He said, “This win is an indication that the men’s team is ready for their remaining opponents. I must commend the fighting spirit of the team because bookmakers had given the game to the Kenyans but we shocked Africa.
“Kenya is a good side but Nigeria did not show them any respect on the court. We will take each game as they come and all we need is the support of Nigerians home and abroad for these boys to succeed”.
Reacting to the victory, the Chairman Caretaker Committee of Nigeria Volleyball Federation, Engineer Musa Nimrod lauded the players for recording their first win of the beach volleyball Olympic qualifiers.
He said the Federation will continue to support the team adding that the players should show no respect to their remaining opponents in the qualifiers.

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