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How I Caged Thierry Henry –Taribo

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Former Super Eagles centre-back, Taribo West, has responded to France legend, Thierry Henry’s comments that he was the defender he dreaded most during his playing career.
The Arsenal legend, while speaking to newsmen on Tuesday, admitted he endured a torrid time against the Nigerian centre-back during his active days.
Despite being rated as one of the most potent strikers of all time, Henry, now the assistant coach of Belgium, admitted Taribo was the hardest opponent he played against.
“For direct opponent, I would go back in the days of Taribo West,” Henry said. “Because at Auxerre, they did man-marking. He followed you everywhere, even in the dressing room.”
Renowned for his unusual and colourful hairstyles, the former Inter Milan star praised Henry for his qualities but said he never gave him the chance to score against him, just like he did to other top strikers.
 “While I was in France, Auxerre Manager, Guy Roux assigned me to always man-mark Thierry Henry until he moved to Juventus where he was not really a regular. I also moved to Inter Milan,” Taribo said.
“During the time I played against him, Henry was a very good player, it was very difficult to mark him as a younger player because he had pace, knew how to dribble and could score good goals.
“But he never scored against me. I didn’t allow him to score because I never gave him breathing space. I can say in Europe that most of the top strikers never scored against me. The only player that scored twice against me was Lyon’s Florian Maurice in France and he wasn’t that popular. Even the great George Weah never scored against me. Think of all the top scorers in the world, none of them scored against me.”
The Olympic gold medallist also talked on how he frustrated his opponents during his time.
“Auxerre Manager then, Roux adopted the man-marking style and he usually assigned the toughest strikers to me because I was very strong. Once he assigned me to a striker, I would follow them anywhere, even down to their own goalposts.
“I was very difficult to play against and if you didn’t have the strength you, would die because I would mark you out.” 

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Okowa Lauds Athletes Ahead Olympics Trials

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President, Athletics Federation of Nigeria, Tonobok Okowa, has once again mandated all athletes looking to represent the country at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games to attend the Nigerian Trials, which hold from June 16 to 18 inside the main bowl of Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin-City.
Making his stance clear in Monday’s release by the athletics body, Okowa commended the athletes for their determination to qualify for the Olympics.
He said, “The athletes have shown commitment, determination, and desire to succeed in their careers by picking Olympic qualifications. They deserve our collective appreciation.”
He added, “The athletes would be picked in accordance with their performances at the trials because it would largely determine who goes to Paris for the Olympics.”
Meanwhile, the Chairman, Edo State Sports Commission, Yusuf Alli, says the state is waiting to welcome athletes for the trials.
He said, “We are the hosts of the national trials, and athletes and spectators are welcome.”
The trials are expected to throw up the best of Nigeria’s athletes based at home and abroad for the Olympic Games in Paris in July.

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Emerging Star Eyes Olympics Place For Nigeria

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Nigerian track and field star, Favour Ofili, has set her sights on the upcoming national Olympics trials after she pulled off a stunning victory in the women’s 100m at the New York Grand Prix, defeating a stellar field that included Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah of Jamaica last Sunday.
The 21-year-old clocked a season-best 11.18secs to take the win, America’s Morolake Akinosun was second in 11.20secs while her compatriot Aleia Hobbs ended in third place in 11.21secs.Thompson-Herah, the Tokyo Olympics 100m and 200m gold medalist, could only manage ninth place in 11.48secs as she continues to search for her best form this season.
“Just like practice, stay calm and just go, finish your transition because that’s the issue, and whatever happens will happen. I wanted to get the standard here and I give God glory for the win,” Ofili told Tidesports source after the race.
“For the trials, stay calm and just do what I know how to do, go back and do some training before I go back home for the national trials.”
The Olympic trials are scheduled to hold in Benin City, Edo State from June 16 to 18. The trials will serve as the selection of the nation’s athletes for both the Senior Africa Athletics Championships, holding between June 21 and 28 in Douala, Cameroon and the Paris 2024 Olympics, which hold from July 26 to August 11.

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Olympic Day Celebrations Hold June 29

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The Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC), at the weekend, said the annual Olympic Day celebrations would be held on June 29 across the country.
The Olympic Day is a global event that commemorates the birth of the modern Olympic Movement, founded by Pierre de Coubertin in 1894.
Speaking with news men, the Secretary-General of the NOC, Babatunde Popoola, said this year’s celebration holds special significance as it precedes the highly anticipated Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
It’s where Nigerian athletes will compete and inspire the world with their achievements.
“Olympic Day is a chance for people of all ages and abilities to experience the magic of the Olympic Games in their own communities.
“It is an ideal platform to highlight the benefits of physical activity and the Olympic values of excellence, friendship, and respect,” Popoola said.
Popoola said that NOC had received positive responses from various states and stakeholders, and preparations were well underway for the nationwide celebration.
He added that no fewer than 21 states and the Federal Capital Territory have indicated their plans to organise activities for the event.
The states are: Abia; Anambra; Bayelsa; Delta; Edo; Enugu; Ebonyi; Lagos; Kogi; Gombe; Jigawa; Kebbi; Kano; Kwara; Taraba; Imo; Ondo; Plateau; Rivers; Nasarawa and Osun
Also speaking, the Chairman of the NOC Sport For All Commission, Abdul Ibrahim, said that Olympic Day was a special day to come together, move together, and learn about the Olympic values.
“We encourage everyone to participate and experience the joy that only sport can bring,” he said.
According to him, a series of activities have been lined up in Lagos, with fitness clubs at the National Stadium Complex and the general public gearing up to take part in the global event.
“The celebration will conclude with the presentation of diplomas signed by the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach.
The President of the Nigeria Olympic Committee, Engr. Habu Ahmed Gumel and other dignitaries will officially flag off the event in Abuja,” he added.

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