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Lagos Tops Primary Schools Meet

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Lagos on Thursday topped the maiden edition of the University Press Plc-sponsored National Primary School Athletics Championships tagged “Schoolympics’’ held at the Liberty Stadium, Ibadan.

The Tidesports source  reports that Lagos beat 15 participating states with a total of nine gold, three silver and four bronze medals in the 14 events featured in the competition.

In addition to emerging winners, Lagos also produced the most outstanding female athlete, Ubong Edet, who won three gold medals.

Kaduna, the runners-up with four gold, three and one bronze medals, had the best

male athlete, Abdulrahman Lawal, who bagged two gold medals.

Two-gold medal female winner, Adama Alabama, also came from Kaduna State.

Hosts Oyo, finished third with one gold and one bronze, while Imo came fourth with five silver and two bronze medals.

Ogun was fifth with two silver and six bronze medals, while Ekiti was sixth with one silver medal.

Edet, 14, a primary six pupil of African Church Primary School, Ifako-Ijaye, bagged her three gold in the 100m, 200m and 4X100m relay.

Lawal, 13, the best male athlete, who is a primary six pupil of  Local Government Education Authority (LGEA) School, Railway Quarters, Kaduna, won the boys’ 800m, 1500m and a silver in the 400m.

Alabama, 12, a primary six pupil also from LGEA School, Kaduna, won the 800m and 1500m.

Jubrin Hassan, Sports Officer, Kaduna State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), said the state was represented by eight athletes, two of whom were disqualified for being over-aged.

Hassan said all their medals came mostly from the middle and long distance events.

Ganiyu Adebayo, the University Press Plc Executive Director  (Finance), expressed regret that no official from the Athletic Federation of Nigeria (AFN) or the National Sports Commission (NSC) was at the meet.

Adebayo said the absence of officials from both bodies would not deter the company from contributing its quota to sports development in the country.

He promised that the company would continue to sponsor the competition.

Raji Dimeji, President of the National Association of Primary Schools Games and Sports Teachers (NAPSGAST), organisers of the competition, described the competition as a huge success.

Dimeji said he was confident the success of the maiden edition would encourage more states to participate in subsequent events as well as attract more sponsors.

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Ghana Legend Names Okocha Africa’s Best

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Ghana star, Mohammed Kudus has named Nigerian legend Austin ‘Jay-Jay’ Okocha as his greatest African footballer of all time, drawing parallels between Okocha’s style of play and his own.
Kudus, currently plying his trade with West Ham United, praised Okocha for his exceptional skills and entertainment value on the pitch.
Okocha’s illustrious career includes numerous achievements such as winning the Goal of the Year award in Germany in 1993, multiple Nigerian Footballer of the Year titles, and being named the BBC African Footballer of the Year twice.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Kudus expressed his admiration for Okocha, emphasising the lasting impact of his creative flair and ability to entertain fans. He highlighted Okocha’s unique style of play as a source of inspiration for him as a young footballer.
”I will say Jay Jay Okocha. I will say explaining from my lens how I see creative players and entertain. That can never be washed away and the fans can never forget that,” Kudus told our source.
Despite joining West Ham United last summer, Kudus has quickly established himself as a crucial player for David Moyes’ side.
With stellar performances throughout the season, Kudus has garnered attention for his impressive contributions on the pitch. In his debut season, the midfielder has netted an impressive 13 goals in 38 appearances, solidifying his role as a key player for the club.

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HFN Sets Deadline For League Registration  

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The Handball Federation of Nigeria (HFN) have called on teams that will participate in the Ardova Handball Premier League 2024 to complete all documentary registration on or before May 4, 2024.
The Ardova Handball Premier League 2024 kick off with phase 1 to hold in Benin City, Edo State from May 12th to the 25th , 2024 and the HFN said all teams must document all their registration regarding player registrations, loans and transfers as soon as the 4th of May 2024 according to a statement addressed the officials of the twenty two participating teams by the Secretary General of the Handball Federation of Nigeria (HFN) Mr. Almu Umar Lambu.
“A total of 25 players and 4 officials shall be registered for the Season as there shall be no more registration in the Second Phase and all participating clubs should note that documentary registration of players, transfers and loans shall be completed on or before 4th May, 2024.” Mr. Lambu said.
Mr. Lambu also revealed that the HFN will hold an anti-doping seminar for players and officials during the course of the first phase of the Ardova Handball Premier League 2024 in Benin City, Edo State.
“Also Clubs should note that there will be Anti-Doping Seminar during the league to be organised by the HFN Medical and Anti-Doping Commission” Mr. Lambu concludes.
The top tier Handball league which is the biggest handball event in Nigeria, was to begin on April 28 through to May 11, 2024 but has now being shifted by two weeks by the Handball Federation of Nigeria for effective preparation in tandem with the sponsor Ardova PLC and will now hold from May 12 to 25, 2024.
Teams are expected to arrive Benin City on May 12, 2024 while hostilities will then begin the next day, May 13 through to May 24, 2024. Departure is May 25, 2024.

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Athletics: Ofili, Nathaniel Qualify For Paris Olympics

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Favour Ofili and Ezekiel Nathaniel have booked their places to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
Ofili won the women’s 200-meter event in day one of the Tom Jones Invitational on Friday, hosted by Florida at James G. Pressly Stadium in Gainesville.
The Port Harcourt, Nigeria, native blazed out of the blocks and clocked an event-winning time and No. 4 time in the world of 22.33 seconds (+1.4 m/s).
She defeated Anavia Battle who came through in 22.56s and Ida Karstoft in a new National Record of 22.60s
Her time dips under the Paris 2024 Olympics’ standard of 22.57 seconds, punching her ticket to the Olympics in her first season after turning pro.
It is her fastest time outdoors since 2022 where she set the Nigerian National Record of 21.96s the same year.
Nathaniel on his part shattered the Nigerian 400m Record at the Tom Jones Invitational, running a brilliant 48.29s.
The feat has seen Nathaniel automatically qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympics, surpassing the Olympic standard by almost half a second.
Chris Robinson of the United States won in a time of 47.95s ahead of Clement Ducos, who ran 48.26s.
Meanwhile, in the Men’s High Jump event, Nigeria’s Erhire Best won clearing a Season’s Best (SB) of 2.21m.
He defeated Riyon Rankin on countback, having needed just one attempt to clear the winning mark while Rankin took three tries. BJ Jennings was 3rd with 2.13m.

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