The decision by the Main Organising Committee (MOC) as well as the Local Organising Committee (LOC) to allow an eight-month pregnant woman, Aminat Idrees, to compete in the taekwondo event at the ongoing Edo 2020 National Sports Festival in Benin City has sparked angry reactions from across the country.
Idrees defied the odds to win a gold medal at the sports festival on Tuesday, a few hours before the Games were officially declared open.
The eight-month pregnant Idrees, who fought in the mixed poomsae category, surprised fans at the taekwondo hall with her aggression and agility despite her heavy state. Her feat was Team Lagos’ first gold at Edo 2020.
Some Nigerians, who expressed their anger yesterday over Aminat Idrees participation at the Games lambasted the MOC, LOC and Lagos Sports Commission for ‘failing’ to apply simple principles of efficient sports administration and management.
“This has clearly shown that the current Permanent Secretary (an engineer) and Chairman of the MOC, is a complete stranger to sporting environment,” one angry sports analyst said on a radio programme monitored in Lagos yesterday. “Putting an eight-month pregnant woman into competition is professionally unacceptable.”
Another sports analyst said: “I blame both the MOC and the LOC for this shameful act that happened at the sports festival in Benin City. Officials of Lagos Sports Commission should be also punished for allowing an eight-month pregnant woman to compete. Whether it was a demonstration event or medal winning sports, it was totally wrong. They did not only put the life of both mother and child at risk, but also put the name of our country to shame. No one can explain this. The MOC chairman has demonstrated that he is a novice. My major concern is that this same man will lead Team Nigeria to the Olympics Games in Tokyo.”
No official of the MOC was ready to speak on the issue yesterday.
Tokyo 2020: Nigerian Wrestlers Are Medal Hopefuls -Coach
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.
Ex-D’Tigers Player Becomes NBA Head Coach
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.
B/Volleyball: Nigeria Defeats Kenya In Olympic Qualifiers
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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