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C’wealth Games: Folashade Lawal Sets Weightlifting Record

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Nigeria’s Rafiatu Folashade Lawal has said that her parents would be proud of her latest success after claiming a Commonwealth Games gold medal in the women’s 59kg weightlifting.
The favourite, 25, triumphed with a new Games record of 206kg from her snatch and clean and jerk lifts on Sunday.
“They are always proud of me, but I think my parents will be prouder than before,” Lawal told Tidesports source.
“This Commonwealth gold means a lot to me, and I’m really excited about it because I didn’t expect it, but God did it for me.”
Lawal has already conquered the continent by picking 59kg gold at the 2019 African Games and the 2021 African Weightlifting Championships.
A gold medallist at the 2021 Commonwealth Championship in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, she admitted her Commonwealth record was unexpected on the way to winning Nigeria’s third gold in Birmingham.
“I’m really happy because I didn’t even know I broke the record. I was only focused on winning the gold medal,” she added.
“Hearing the fans (Nigerians in the crowd) really helped. Although it’s not the first time I will be facing a huge crowd, but the support really calmed my nerves.”
Lawal’s success in Birmingham is a positive for Africa’s most populous nation, but Nigeria’s powerlifting successes at the Commonwealth Games has often been blighted by doping violations.
The Nigerian Weightlifting Federation was suspended for repeated doping violations by the International Weightlifting Federation in 2001 and banned from competing in the following year’s Manchester Games.
Back in 2014, 16-year-old weightlifter Chika Amalaha was stripped of her gold medal after failing a drugs test.
Like Amalaha, who is suspended until 2027, weightlifters Blessed Udoh, Elizabeth Onuah and Balikis Otunla were also handed long-term bans for doping offences.

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Sambo: Nigeria Names Four-Man Team

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The Sambo Association of Nigeria has named a four-man team for their debut at the 13th African Games in Ghana from March 8 to 23.
Sambo is an offshoot of judo, jujutsu, boxing, folk wrestling and is currently recognised by the International Olympic Committee although it is yet to be listed for demonstration at the Olympics.
The contingent is made up of two men and two women, namely Jonah Kajido (79kg), James Chegwam (58kg), Fatima Ogbonyomi (65kg) and Charity Jatau (59kg).
Ahead of what will be the first appearance of the event at the Games, Vice President of SAN, Sheriff Hammed, expressed excitement about the prospect of Nigeria participating in the event.
“We carefully selected these athletes to represent us at the African Games based on their knowledge of the sport and Sambo being one of the demonstration sports in Ghana, we want to ensure that we are well represented in the event.
“This is the first time that Sambo will be part of the African Games as the sport is gaining ground across the globe and Nigeria should not be an exception. For now, the athletes are camping in readiness for the games as we are not just going there to add to the number but to make our presence felt in the event,” he said on Tuesday.
Hammed, who is also the joint Secretary, International Association of Combative Sports (Africa), said participating in the Games would give more people the opportunity to appreciate the uniqueness of the sport, being one of the fast-growing sports in the world.
We are hoping that taking part in the Games would give us the chance to popularise the sport among Africans and Nigerians. More African countries are now embracing the sport and hopefully, it will be part of the Olympics sports very soon with the way it is growing across the globe,” he added.

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Nwabali Receives Hero’s Welcome At Chippa United

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Nigeria’s goalkeeper, Stanley Nwabali, received a warm welcome back at South African club, Chippa United, on Tuesday, following his remarkable performance at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations.
Upon arrival at Port Elizabeth Airport, the 27-year-old was greeted by hundreds of Chippa United fans.
In a video shared on Tuesday, he was seen engaging with supporters, taking selfies and participating in singing the club’s anthem.
Chippa United, via their social media handle, celebrated his return with the message, “He’s Back #NwabaliBobo.”
Nwabali’s standout performance during AFCON 2023 earned him cash gifts, a national honour, and a chieftaincy title in his hometown.
Due to his success, Nwabali has been linked with potential moves to other clubs like Kaizer Chiefs and Union St Gilloise.

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Ayienugba Claims Women’s  Tennis Gold Medal In Police Games

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Winners have emerged in the tennis event at the ongoing 14th  biennial Police Games tagged ‘Oluyole 2024’ at the Ibadan Recreation Club with Funke Ayienugba of Zone 2 claiming the women’s singles gold medal.
In a one-sided match, Ayienugba defeated Dike Osinachi  of Zone 4 6-0, 6-0 to emerge champion, while in the men’s doubles final, twins Paul and Peter Alakwem of Force Headquarters defeated duo Idris and Aminci of Zone 2 6-1, 6-1 to win the gold medal.
Also, Agnes Ogar and Charity Philips of Zone 7 defeated Adedayo and Oyelowo 6-0,6-0 to emerge champions in the women’s doubles.
In karate individual kata (female category), Rita Edejoh emerged champion, while  Zinab Absalam clinched the silver medal, with duo Hamzat Olayinka and Holiness Iyoba ending up in third and fourth positions respectively.

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