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NWF Reflects On Champion Of Champions Tourney

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President of the Nigeria Wrestling Federation (NWF), Hon. Daniel Igali, has described the just-concluded Baraza Champion of Champions wrestling tournament in Yenagoa, as ‘one of the best-organised’ in the country in recent times, while thanking sponsors, Baraza Multipurpose Co-operative Society Ltd, for sponsoring the competition and Bayelsa State Government for their support.
Over 50 wrestlers across the country participated in the 4-day tournament from 15th through 18th of this month, vying for medals in 11 Olympic weight classes in Women Wrestling and Freestyle events at the ultra-modern Dynamite Theatre of Wrestling Complex, in what is their first competition since the African Championships in Algiers in February, last year, no thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Baraza Champion of Champions wrestling competition was undoubtedly one of the best-organised competitions we’ve had,” the World and Olympic champion noted. “Though, it was small, the numbers of athletes that competed were not at the same level of athletes that we normally had competing in other tournaments, but it was probably one of the toughest tournaments.
“We had it spread over three days; four weight classes per day essentially, and so the referees were not over-burdened.
“We had new technology that we used at this tournament.
“The referees, officials and everyone here adjudged this to be one of the best tournaments we’ve ever held in Nigeria.
“At a personal level, I was very satisfied with what I saw. The athletes wrestled very well. Aside the fact that this was their first competition in 11 months, everything else appeared to be in sync.”
Speaking after the tournament, Igali, who is also the Commissioner for Youth and Sports in Bayelsa State, specially expressed gratitude to Baraza Multipurpose Co-operative Society Ltd, who bankrolled the tournament, as well as Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri and the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Hon. Abraham Ingobere, for their respective financial donations to the competition.
“I am extremely grateful to Baraza Multipurpose Co-operative Society Ltd for the sponsorship that we enjoyed from them,” Igali said.
“I am extremely grateful to the Governor and Government of Bayelsa State. The Governor (Sen. Douye Diri) personally coming to witness the event and present medals and also donating the sum of N2 million to support the competition.
“And I’m also extremely appreciative of the Speaker of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Hon. Abraham Ingobere, who also came in his capacity as Speaker and represented the House of Assembly, and also donated the sum of N500, 000 to the competition.
“The support we received from everyone was invaluable and we hope this competition will be one that we can continue to stage in Bayelsa annually.”

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Tokyo 2020: Naomi Osaka Beats China’s Saisai In Straight Sets

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Japan’s Naomi Osaka returns a shot to China’s Zheng Saisai, during their Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games women’s singles, first round tennis match at the Ariake Tennis Park in Tokyo .
Japan’s Naomi Osaka won in straight sets on her highly-anticipated return to court at the Tokyo Olympics yesterday, while world number one Ashleigh Barty crashed out in the first round.
Osaka, the star of the opening ceremony, defeated China’s Zheng Saisai 6-1, 6-4 in her first match since taking an eight-week break for mental health reasons.
“I feel like more than anything I’m just focused on playing tennis. Playing the Olympics has been a dream of mine since I was a kid,” said Osaka, chosen as the first tennis player to light the Olympic cauldron on Friday.
“I feel like the break that I took was very needed, but I feel definitely a little bit refreshed and happy again.”
The Australian Open champion had not played since May, when she walked out of Roland Garros, saying that media commitments were harming her mental health.
Osaka showed few signs of rust as she reeled off the opening five games on the Ariake Coliseum centre court, which likely would have been packed to capacity if not for a spectator ban because of coronavirus restrictions.
The second seed broke the 52nd-ranked Zheng for a 2-1 lead in the second set and closed out an 87-minute victory on her third match point.
The 23-year-old Osaka is attempting to become Japan’s first Olympic tennis champion. She will play Switzerland’s Viktorija Golubic in the last 32.

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Insurance FC Records Second NNL Win On Return

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Bendel Insurance recorded their second win in a row since returning to the second tier of Nigeria National League with a 1-0 win over Abia Comets on Saturday at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium.
Defender Tanimu Benjamin scored the only goal of the encounter in the 26th minute to hand the hosts the maximum points.
Both results have brightened their chances of qualifying for the Super 8.
According to Tidesports source, the Edo State Government in June withdrew the team from the competition after several of their players were injured by home fans during their game against Remo Stars in Ikenne, Ogun State.
On their return, Insurance pulled off an away win over Holy Arrows in Enugu before the win at the weekend 
“I am happy with the goal and the overall performance from the boys. Our aim is to return to the topflight and we are working hard to achieve it,” goal scorer Benjamin, who was injured in the violence at Ikenne, said

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Karagumruk To Pay Musa N1bn Annually

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Super Eagles captain, Ahmed Musa was on Thursday unveiled by Turkish Lig 1 side, Fatih Karagumruk, having signed the winger on a two-year deal with an option to extend the deal for another year.
Tidesports source gathered that the financial details of the deal were undisclosed by both club and player, Musa will earn about$2.5million (N1.02billion) annually with a weekly pay of $40,000, with bonuses.
Karagumruk were promoted to the Turkish topflight in the 2019/2020 campaign, ending a 35-year wait for a return to the Super Lig and want to remain there, thus, the acquisition of star players like Musa.
“It’s a good deal no doubt, the club wanted Musa because of his wealth of experience, having played at the World Cup and the UEFA Champions League. Since they were promoted to the topflight two seasons ago, their major aim is to remain in the Turkish topflight and also win games against the big sides like Galatasary, Fenerbahce and Trabzonspor and they believe Musa can help them achieve their goals. That’s why they signed him for $2.5million annual salary, besides bonuses and allowances,” a close friend of Musa said.
It was also reliably learnt that there were financial incentives for Musa, if the club qualified for European competitions, and if he ended up as their highest scorer at the end of the season.
Musa, in an interview with newsmen said Karagumruk’s ambition was a major reason he joined them.
“I was very impressed with the team’s philosophy, style of play and it’s clearly an ambitious club.

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