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NPFL Invitee Determined To Prove Point In S’Eagles

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Abia Warriors defender, Adekunle Adeleke, has revealed that his aim in the Nigeria national team squad is to prove there are quality players in the Nigerian Professional Football League.
The defender is one of the three home-based players invited for the Super Eagles’ 2022 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers this month.
The three-time African champions will take on the Republic of Benin on March 27 before slugging it out against Lesotho three days later in Lagos.
Adeleke has set himself a target of representing the home-based players well in the national team in order to open doors of opportunities for them.
“Definitely, we are going to give a good account of ourselves and try to do our best to show that there are good and quality players in the league,” Adeleke told newsmen.
The defender is optimistic of Nigeria’s victory against their West African neighbours and warned his side to be battle-ready for the encounter.
“No team is small and I believe we have the quality and good players to win Benin Republic,” he continued.
Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr, had been reluctant to hand home-based players chances in the national team in the past.
The German tactician claimed his best payers are based abroad and also revealed the home-based stars were not patient before leaving for Europe.
“We cannot find all the time players in the local league who are better than the other ones,” Rohr said.
“The criterion for us, the first criterion is the quality of the players. Everybody knows, not only in Nigeria, that the best players are in Europe or somewhere else in professional leagues. That is the fact.
“I invited already more than 23 or 24 local players since I have been in charge of the Super Eagles but we invite them and then immediately they are going to Europe. It is wonderful for them but maybe not for us.”
Nigeria currently leads Group L table with eight points and victory over the Republic of Benin or Lesotho will seal their place at the AFCON tournament in Cameroon.
The Super Eagles finished third at the 2019 edition of the tournament behind winners, Algeria and Senegal.

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RSG Restates Commitment To Youth Dev Via Sports

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The Special Assistant to the Rivers State Governor on School Sports, Chief Aribitonye Okiri, has said that the state government-led by Chief Nyesom Wike, is committed to develop youths in the State through sports. 
 He stated that it is not in doubt that the State has hidden talents at the grassroots that are yet to be discovered. 
Chief Okiri, said this at the finals of the National School Sports Competition held at Adokiye Amiesimaka Sports Complex in Port Harcourt, on Wednesday.
According to him, Governor Wike is poised to reach out to young ones in all the local government areas, in the state and engage them with sporting activities in a bid to discover hidden talents. 
“As I speak, the governor has reiterated his desire to reach out to the children in all parts of the state and unearth their talents through engagement in sports, believing that all Rivers children are talented” Chief Okiri said. 
Also speaking, the second Vice President of Nigeria School Sports Federation (NSSF), Pastor Emmanuel Ebong, thanked Governor Wike, for proving a worthy partner of NSSF and appeal to other corporate organisations to emulate Nigeria Breweries Ltd in partnering NSSF in sports development. 
At the end of the final competition, Community Secondary School, Okochiri in Okrika Local Government Area, dominated the medal table.

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24 States Set For Lagos Athletics Championship

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The Lagos State Athletics Association has confirmed the entry of 24 states and some clubs for its lucrative Athletics Meet fixed for Thursday, at the Teslim Balogun Stadium.
Yussuf Alli who is the Meet Director for the Lagos Open Athletics Championship made the disclosure at the weekend even as he hinted a few other states may still join the already confirmed 24 states and clubs.
He said: “Yes, we are very much on track for the Lagos Open Athletics Championship which will be coming up this Thursday.
“Right now, we already have 24 states and some top racing clubs that have confirmed their participation, a few more may join before we close the window.”
The Lagos Open Athletics Championship is a one-day meet simultaneously serving as another qualifying window for the Tokyo Olympics as well as a preparatory event for athletes that have already qualified for the sporting showpiece.
In the past days, Lagos has been a beehive of activities with the National trials at the Yaba College of Technology Sporting complex and now the train is moving to the heart of the city in Surulere as the build-up to the Tokyo Olympics continues to gather momentum.
 The list of events to be competed for at the Lagos Open Athletics Championship includes the 5,000 meters, 400 meters hurdles, 100 meters, 800 meters, 400 meters, and 100 meters.
There would also be top-quality action across the relay events including;  the 4×100 meters open, 4×100 meters open and 4×400 meters mixed relay.
Long jump, High jump, Triple jump, Shot put as well as 4×100 secondary schools relay and 4×100 secondary schools relay have all been penciled down for the maiden Lagos Open Athletics Championship.
Already, the top three finishers across all the events have been assured mouthwatering prizes by the organisers.

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Okagbare Sets New Record At Olympic Trials

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Blessing Okagbare will be heading to Tokyo Olympics in the best form of her life after running the second fastest time in the world this season.
The 32-year-old ran  10.63 seconds to win the Athletics Federation of Nigeria Olympic Trials at the Sports Complex of Yaba College of Technology in Lagos on Thursday. 
The 10.63 seconds time saw her tie with Jamaican Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce’ best time in 2021 ahead of the delayed 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Okagbare ran 10.99 seconds in the semifinal of the event to set a new championship record , and before clocking 10.63 seconds in the final to set a new record.   The scorching 10.63 time is also a new African record. Only Florence Griffith Joyner who holds the world record at 10.49 seconds has run faster.        The Nigerian has now emerged one of the favourites for the 100m gold at the Tokyo Olympics alongside Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce who first ran 10.63 seconds this season.

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