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CAFCC: Rivers United Advances To First Round

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Rivers United Football Club of Port Harcourt, has qualified for the first round of CAF Confederation Cup competition, as they edged out their visitors, Futuro Kings of Equatorial Guinea, through penalty shootout.
The Pride of Rivers, as United is fondly called had to rely on the lottery of penalty shootout to advance after beating the visitors 2-1 in regulation time at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium, yesterday. The full time result saw both teams tie on 3-3 aggregate after Uniteds, 2-1 reverse in the first leg.
In the ensued shootout, Rivers Unitd converted two of their kicks, while Futiro Kings failed to score any of their first four kicks.
In his reaction shortly after the game, Coach of Rivers United, Stanley Eguma, said his club was destiny to win.
“The game was not an easy one, but we thank God we won. We scored two early goals before our opponents scored their goal.
Meanwhile, Rivers United defender, Ifeanyi Anaemena says the lack of competitive matches in the domestic scene is one of the reasons Nigerian clubs don’t go far in CAF competitions.
Anaemena played the entire duration of the 2-1 defeat to Futuro Kings FC in the first-leg of their CAF Confederation preliminary round fixturon hand to help his team oustquatorial De from the competition via penalty shootout yesterday.
Kano Pillars and Plateau United also suffered first-leg defeats to AS Jafaar and Simba SC respectively, but Enyimba recorded a narrow away victory against FC Rahimo in Ouagadougou last weekend.
Speaking on why Nigerian clubs struggle to make meaningful impact on the continent, Anaemena said the late kick-off of the NPFL has to be one of the major reasons.
“It’s quite unfortunate for the past five or six seasons now our teams have always kick off the continental campaign before the NPFL season,” Anaemena said.
“Although Covid-19 contributed to the delay this season, but it’s always important to go into the continent at the back of six, seven or eight matches in the league in order to be match fit.
“This has also affected us and other clubs on the continent, but I’m optimistic Rivers United will have a good season,” he concluded.
Kano Pillar and Plateau United exited their respective continental assignments after failing at the first hurdle, while Enyimba and Rivers United had to dig deep to advance on narrow margins.

 

By: Tonye Orabere/Kiadum Edookor

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D’Tigress’ Onyemere Celebrates X Billboard Appearance

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Stunning Nigeria D’Tigress forward, Michaela Onyemere recently celebrated her appearance on the X (Twitter) billboard campaign, describing it as a dream come true.
The Chicago Sky player, who is part of the D’Tigress roster for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, shared her excitement on Instagram, advising her fans not to give up their dream but to work towards their realisation.
She wrote, “If you tweet it, you can be it. I am so honoured to be a part of this Twitter billboard campaign alongside so many other influential people. Chase your dreams to the fullest extent, no matter how crazy people think you might be. I was 13 when I tweeted this, and eight years later, here we are! If you can believe it, I promise you can be it. Dream big always.”
According to her, the billboards are located in New York at 7th Ave and 49th Street, 42nd Street and 8th Ave, Times Square, Bryant Park Subway Station, and newsstands throughout Midtown; San Francisco in Kearney WS and Montgomery Muni Station; Los Angeles in the Hollywood Roosevelt and Sepulveda WS.
Onyemwere was selected sixth overall in the first round of the 2021 WNBA Draft, and she got off to a flying start with the New York Liberty; her average of 8.6 points and 2.9 rebounds per game, plus 37 three-pointers made, was the highest among all rookies in her class.

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OlympAfrica Chess Competition Holds In PH …Boy Six Performs Excellently

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OlympAfrica University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT)  Centre recently held Schools Chess Competition, at Professor Ken Anugweje building UNIPORT Sports complex.
The competition was between some selected primary and secondary schools in Rivers State, which attracted huge attendance , including some professional Chess players.
The Director of OlympAfrica UNIPORT centre in Nigeria, Dr. Chukwuemeka Agi in different fora has said the purpose of the competition was to help children build their career and encourage them.
“The reason why OlympAfrica organise various sporting tournaments and competitions was to assist the young ones build their career in any sport.
“You know is better we catch them young and direct their footsteps to enable them become useful to themselves and the nation”, Dr. Agi said.
Speaking with Victor Ayanwale,  the youngest player age six, in the competition, from King Amachree Sports Academy, in Harry’s Town, Rivers State, said his dream was to become one of the best Chess players in the world.
According to him, he started playing Chess at the age of five, mentored by his father, saying that he enjoys playing the game as it helps him to reason help.
“ I  started playing Chess at the age of five, it was my father that was teaching me. I want to become number in one Chess in this country.
“I enjoy playing Chess because it makes me happy and think well. I want other children to play Chess because it is good”, Ayanwale said.
Highlight of the event was presentation of medals, certificates and trophies to winners.

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Female Athletes Are Nigeria’s Olympic Hopefuls – NOC 

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The Secretary-General of the Nigeria Olympic Committee, Tunde Popoola, has said that Nigeria’s medal hopes at the Paris Olympics largely rest on female athletes such as Tobi Amusan and Ese Brume.
Despite participating in the Olympics since 1952, Nigeria has only secured a total of 27 medals, including just two gold medals, both won in 1996 in Atlanta.
This remains the country’s most successful outing, with Chioma Ajunwa winning gold in the women’s long jump and the football team, led by Kanu Nwankwo, clinching the second at the expense of super powers Argentia and Brazil.
“The men dominated previously, but this time, it’s all about the women. They qualified for the football event and almost every single event in athletics. It’s a good thing, and we appreciate their growth,” he said in an interview with Tidesports source.
“The women have done more because they are more committed. I’m not saying the men aren’t, but women are more dedicated, and that’s the reason they are doing well.”
Ajunwa’s achievement in 1996 stands out as Nigeria’s only individual Olympic gold medal, highlighting the persistent trend of Nigeria’s female athletes consistently outperforming their male counterparts.
This trend continued at the 2000 Sydney Games, where Gloria Alozie secured a silver medal in the women’s 110-metre hurdles, salvaging Nigeria’s presence on the podium.
In the most recent Tokyo Games, Team Nigeria won two medals, both from women: Brume, who claimed bronze in the women’s long jump, and Blessing Oborududu, who won silver in wrestling.
With the Paris Games only weeks away, it appears hopes are once again pinned on the women to bring home medals.
Nigeria’s female athletes are world-class, while many of their male counterparts, particularly in athletics, are less experienced.
Taiwo Popoola, Vice President of the Nigeria Taekwondo Federation, echoed these sentiments, attributing the women’s success to their dedication.
“The women have done more because they are more committed. I’m not saying the men aren’t, but women are more dedicated, and that’s the reason they are doing well,” he said.
To put the NTF VP’s statement in perspective, Elizabeth Anyanacho, another female athlete, is the only qualified taekwondoist for the Paris Olympics. She was also Nigeria’s only representative in the sport at Tokyo 2022.
Nigeria’s medal hopes in Paris largely rest on the shoulders of athletes like Tobi Amusan, Brume, wrestlers Oborududu, and Odunayo Adekuruoye.
Amusan, in particular, is a standout athlete. She set a world record time of 12.40 seconds in the women’s hurdles in Kingston, Jamaica, in May 2024.

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