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moc Upholds Rivers Protest, Cancels Bayelsa Medals

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The Main Organising Committee, MOC, of the ongoing Edo 2020 National Sports Festival, NSF, has disqualified swimmer, Dino Ebarakumo and cancelled a total of six medals, four gold and two silver he won in the pool for Bayelsa state. This follows a protest letter filed by Team Rivers over Ebarakumo’s last minute ditching of Rivers state to represent Bayelsa at the festival.
According to Team Rivers, the swimmer was contracted, camped, prepared and registered by them for the festival only for him to be seen competing for Bayelsa State in Benin.
Speaking earlier on the development, Head of Team Rivers and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Sports, Sir Honour Sirawoo, had declared that the state would protest and pursue the matter to a logical conclusion because no athlete should be allowed to con the state. He was at a loss how the organisers of the games even allowed him to compete for Bayelsa with Rivers state’s tag and registration.
“It’s not possible for his medals to stand, we registered him and his name appeared on our DMR document, so, there is no way he can get away with what he has done”, Sir Sirawoo had said.
With the disqualification of the swimmer and his medals, Bayelsa’s medal haul has taken a hit and may haunt them at the end of the day.
Meanwhile, Team Rivers was faced with some testing moments after some athletes they were hoping on for medals, especially, in tennis, were found to be ineligible to participate. In a circumstance that could be likened to a conspiracy against the team, it was learnt that the names of the athletes, who were hitherto registered for the games were found to be missing from the official registration documents, few hours to the commencement of their event.
Reacting to the situation, Sir Sirawoo had said that the matter would be looked into and steps taken to right the wrong if any, but that they would not allow it to distract them from their objective at the games.

 

By: Gabriel Nwanetanya

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Athletics: Okagbare Begins Preparation For Tokyo 2020

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Blessing Okagbare, yesterday started her preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics at the National Trials.
The opening day of the Tokyo 2020 National Trials will see Okagbare competing in the 100m against highly rated Grace Nwokocha
Okagbare, the 8th time national champions is the favourite to win the event again, but Grace Nwokocha remains one of her biggest threats.
The American-based track queen won the championship from 2009 to 2014 and returned to win the 2016 edition after missing out in 2015.
Despite her qualification for the Olympics, Okagbare will be hoping to continue her winning streak and go to the Olympics in high spirits.
Apart from the 100m finals expected to take place in the afternoon, there will be shotput men final with all eyes on  Chukwuebuka Enekwechi.

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LAA Holds Lucrative Track Meet, Next Week

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The Lagos State Athletics Association has announced it would be holding a lucrative Athletics Meet on Thursday, June 24, 2021, at the Teslim Balogun Stadium.
Yussuf Alli, who is the Meet Director for the Lagos Open Athletics Championship, made the disclosure on Wednes-day even as he revealed that arrangements were in top gear to have an elite cast of athletes in the one-day meet.
According to Alli, the Lagos Open Athletics Championship will simultaneously serve as a qualifying window for the Tokyo Olympics as well as a preparatory event for athletes that have already qualified for the sporting showpiece.
“This is another fantastic window for those seeking to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics as well as those seeking quality competition to stay in shape for the Olympics,” Alli said.
“The Lagos State Athletics Association, which is one of the most vibrant in the country, is out to organise a world-class event that would be the talk of the town as we count down to Tokyo,”  he added.
The list of events to be competed for at the Lagos Open Athletics Championship include, the 5,000 meters, 400 meters hurdles, 100 meters, 800 meters, 400 meters and 100 meters.
There would also be quality action in 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 pencilled down for the maiden Lagos Open Athletics Champion-ship.
Organisers have assured that the top three finishers across all the events will receive handsome prizes for their efforts.

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S’ Falcons Bow To World Champions

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The Super Falcons of Nigeria lost 2-0 to world champions, USA, in their final Group game at the 2021 Summer Series in Texas, USA.
The result means the African champions failed to win any of their three matches at the invitational tourna-ment, drawing one and losing the other two.
Kristen Press gave the Americans the lead on the stroke of half time, and before Lyn Williams killed Falcons hope of getting a draw with the second goal on the dot of 90 minutes.
With the victory, the world number one has now gone 42 games without tasting a defeat .As for the Falcons, the aim of participating in the Summer Series was to prepare them for a crucial 2022 African Women’s Champion-ship eliminator against perennial rivals, Ghana in October.
The African Women’s Championship will serve as qualifiers for the 2023 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

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