WINNER CHOSEN FOR FAN PHOTOGRAPH OF THE YEAR

A winner has been selected in the IAAF’s contest for the best photograph of the year taken by a fan photographer.

Held alongside the Photograph of the Year award for professional photographers, fan photographers were invited to submit their own entries via social media. The four finalists in the contest for professional photographers formed the panel to determine the winner of the contest for fan photographers.

The winning entry came from Andrew Smith, whose photograph of Mo Farah at London’s Big Half impressed the panellists.

“I can’t tell you how excited I am!” said Smith. “I went to spectate at the Big Half to watch my club-mates from Headington Road Runners. I was stood on the barriers just close to the halfway point and tried to ensure I had a clear view of the moment Mo Farah came round the corner. I took a burst of about 50 photographs to try to catch the perfect image.

© Andrew Smith

“Mo Farah is a hero and an inspiration to me, so to have him in my winning shot makes it even more special,” he added. “I will be competing against him at the 2019 London Marathon, but sadly I don’t think I will be as close to him then as I was this day!”

The judges complimented Smith’s winning image. “He caught the movement well,” they said. “The photo is very sharp with good composition. It’s a nicely framed image.”

Smith will receive travel, accommodation and tickets for two for an IAAF Diamond League meeting of his choice.

IAAF

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Supersand Eagles One Win Away From FIFA World Cup

Nigeria’s Beach Soccer National Team is again on the threshold of qualifying for the FIFA World Cup, after a 4-2 defeat of debutants Tanzania at the ongoing CAF Beach Soccer Cup of Nations in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt on Monday.

CAF ONLINE

Veteran Abu Azeez, who opened his goals tally for the tournament with a brace against Libya on Sunday, scored one of Nigeria’s four goals to take his tournament tally to three – same as Emeka Ogbonna. Another Nigerian player, Taiwo Adams, who netted twice against Senegal on the opening day, also has three goals, after he scored one against the Tanzanians on Monday.

Emmanuel Ohwoferia netted one against Libya on Sunday and made another against the Tanzanians to take his tally to two, while Tyson Ojukwu opened his tournament goals account with one against the Tanzanians.

In other matches on Monday, hosts Egypt defeated 2015 champions Madagascar 4-2 while Morocco edged Cote d’Ivoire 5-4.

The other semi finalists would be known on Tuesday afternoon as Egypt clash with Cote d’Ivoire and Madagascar are up against Morocco. Senegal, who edged Nigeria on penalties following a 4-4 draw after regulation and extra time on Saturday, whipped Tanzania 12-2 on Sunday, but must avoid defeat against Libya, 5-3 winners over Tanzania, on Tuesday to reach the last four.

Photo credit: CAF ONLINE

Victory in their semi final match on Wednesday will see the Supersand Eagles pick a ticket to the 2019 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup holding in Paraguay, as the two finalists at the ongoing championship will be eligible.

Nigeria came close to reaching the semi finals of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup seven years ago, before they lost to Brazil in extra time in Ravenna, Italy.

We Must Get Past Norway To Get Into The Knockout Rounds – Dennerby

Coach Thomas Dennerby reflected on Monday that his African champions must scoop all three points against Norway in their first match of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup finals, to stand on a good pedestal of reaching the knockout stages.

The Swedish tactician made this observation as he inspected, alongside other members of the Nigeria delegation, the facilities for the Super Falcons’ first match of the finals, including the 21,000 –capacity Stade Auguste Delaune in Reims.

Super Falcons

“In the early editions of the FIFA Women’s World Cup, Norway used to have outstanding teams. I am not saying they no longer have a strong team. But I believe that if we are able to use our power and pace to maximum effect, and we improve our marksmanship, we can get a good result against them.

“Certainly, we would need a fitness coach to put the Super Falcons in great shape so that we can have that power and great pace to work for us. We would also need to play friendly matches and invitational tournaments to try various formations and combinations.”

The inspection of the Stade Auguste Delaune was done alongside the delegations of Norway, United States of America and Thailand, who would also make use of the venue for matches during next summer’s World Cup.

The stadium was opened as Stade Municipal in 1934, but brought down entirely and rebuilt in 2008. It is named after a former Sports Minister of France who died in a concentration camp during World War II.

Nigeria and Norway go at each other’s jugular in the second match of Group A on 8th June 2019, a day after hosts France and Korea Republic would have opened the tournament at the Parc des Princes in Paris.

Incidentally, Norway’s coach, youthful Martin Sjogren, is also Swedish and is a friend of Dennerby.

“Our objective would be to get three points off Norway. We would then go hard against Korea Republic and then take our chances against France. For me, coming to the World Cup next summer should not be about Nigeria just making up the number.

Dennerby (left) with Norway Coach Martin Sjogren at the Stade Auguste Delaune on Monday.

“We should have the mission to come here and make an impact at the World Cup. Nigeria is ripe for that, but adequate preparation will be key.”

The delegation, which included NFF Director of Communications Ademola Olajire and Team Administrator, Mary Oboduku, also inspected the Mercure Hotel Reims where the Super Falcons will stay, as well as the training pitch.

After playing Norway on 8th June, the Super Falcons will move to Grenoble to play Korea Republic on 12th June before heading to Rennes to take on France on 17th June.

Lobi, Rangers Can Rule Africa – Dombraye

Nigeria representatives in the 2018/2019 CAF Champions league and CAF Confederation cup, Lobi Stars and Enugu Rangers respectively, have been tipped to shine in the competitions.

Speaking from his base in Ukraine, former Bendel Insurance and Iwuanyanwu Nationale attacker, Eddy Lord Dombraye expressed his happiness over the progress made by both sides in the competitions.

Ajani Ibrahim of Rangers tackles a Lobi Stars player

According to the UEFA A licensed coach who is presently attached to the U17 side of FC Arsenal of Ukraine, the performances of both teams are strong indications that our local league still have talented players who can rule Africa again.

“I watched the Enugu Rangers’ matches and am glad with the determination and quality of the players. I can attribute that to coach Gbenga Ogunbote and the managerial acumen of Davidson Owumi. I have won the WAFU cup twice and I know how difficult it is playing against teams from other countries,” Dombraye said.

“Lobi Stars are also in the good and experienced hands of coach Solomon Ogbeide and Mike Idoko. These men have the capabilities to lead the team to ultimate victory in the competition,” he enthused.

Eddy Dombraye
Photo credit: Eddy Dombraye

Dombraye who has expressed his willingness to return to Nigeria to coach any ambitious team in the NPFL, however charged the management of the teams to ensure that the players and officials are well motivated and also that their welfare are made paramount.

” Playing on the continent is a definitely a big deal for the players and officials. Therefore, there should be concerted efforts to get it right. Remember, it is a long time we won any continental club title. And I believe that these teams can rule Africa if they are properly prepared,” the ex-Nigeria international added.

Akeem Busari

Supersand Eagles Thump Libya, Ready For Tanzania

Nigeria turned back Libya 6-3 on Sunday afternoon to brighten her chances of a place in the semi finals of the ongoing CAF Beach Soccer Cup of Nations in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. The win came about 24 hours after the two –time African champions lost 0-2 on penalty shoot –out to Senegal, after both teams ended it 4-4 after regulation and extra time.

Emeka Ogbonna, best player of the last edition of the competition held in Lagos in 2016, contributed two of the goals to add to the lone strike he secured against four–time champions Senegal on Saturday, to take his tally to three at this tournament.

Abu Azeez, another star player on the Nigeria side, also netted a brace, while Emmanuel Ohwoferia and Suleiman Ogodo got one goal each as the Supersand Eagles handed the North Africans the same treatment they got in the hands of the Super Eagles in two 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers in October.

Nigeria Supersand Eagles
Photo credit: CAF

With the Supersand Eagles having regained their buoyancy and marksmanship, debutants Tanzania are in the firing line as they take to the sands against Nigeria on Monday starting from 2.30pm Egypt time (1.30pm Nigeria time).

Coach Audu ‘Ejo’ Adamu is likely to throw another star player Victor Tale into the fray on Monday to ensure a baptism of fire for the East Africans, while paving the Nigerians’ route to the last four.

The two finalists in Sharm El Sheikh will represent Africa at the 2019 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup scheduled for Paraguay.

BET9JA BACKS FIRST NATIONAL ANTI-CORRUPTION MARATHON RACE IN ABUJA

The first edition of the Bet9ja Anti-corruption Marathon race will hold today December 10, 2018 at 7:00am and will start off from the National Stadium, Abuja and finish up at the Eagle Square, Abuja.

The event organised by Fair Play Sports International Agency in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports, Nigeria Olympics Committee (NOC) and Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) is in honour and support of President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration’s battle against corruption.

The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Solomon Dalung has described the initiative as a significant milestone in the fight against corruption, pointing out that sports is one of the highest employers of labour in Nigeria, and that sports men and women are some of the highest paid in the world, and as such should be protected from all forms of corrupt practices.

Acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu lauded the initiative, saying the objective of bringing together all strata of the population to support the anti-corruption campaign with the sole aim of raising national awareness and consciousness on the scourge and danger of corruption in Nigeria is a welcome development.

National coordinator of the event, Jacob Onu, said millions of Nigerians are involved in one form of sporting activity, it makes sense that this initiative is an effective avenue to reach these audience with the anti-corruption message and such an effort should be supported in all ramifications.

While unveiling the new plans ahead of the maiden edition of the race slated to hold on Monday December 10, 2018, Head of Marketing and Communication, Bet9ja, Mr. Tunji Meshioye said, “Bet9ja was proud to be the headline sponsors of the National Anti-Corruption Marathon.”

“At Bet9ja we see integrity as our responsibility to push the anti-corruption agenda, and also ensured corrupt free society.” He said.

Nigeria’s leading bookmaker, Bet9ja urged Nigerians to take advantage of the opportunity to come out and have fun while keeping fit at the event which is the first Anti-corruption marathon in Nigeria.

To get more info follow @Bet9jaig on Instagram, @ Bet9ja.official Twitter and Facebook or follow the #hashtag #Bet9jaRaceForIntegrity on all social media platforms

Allen Draws Brecel In First Round Of Snooker’s Masters

Defending champion Mark Allen has drawn Luca Brecel in the first round of the Dafabet Masters at Alexandra Palace next month.

The draw has been made for snooker’s biggest invitation tournament, to run from January 13 to 20 in North London. It’s an elite field with only the world’s top 16 players earning the chance to compete for the £200,000 top prize and famous Paul Hunter Trophy.

Northern Ireland’s Allen won the title for the first time last season, beating Kyren Wilson 10-7 in the final. He’ll start the defence of his title against Brecel on Sunday January 13 at 1pm.

Crowd favourite Ronnie O’Sullivan, who has won the Masters a record seven times, will start his bid for an eighth crown against Stuart Bingham on Monday January 14 at 1pm.

World Champion Mark Williams faces Neil Robertson, while Judd Trump will take on Kyren Wilson in a repeat of last season’s semi-final which Wilson won 6-5.

The full draw is:

Mark Allen v Luca Brecel – Sunday January 13 at 1pm
Ding Junhui v Jack Lisowski – Monday January 14 at 7pm
John Higgins v Ryan Day – Sunday January 13 at 7pm
Ronnie O’Sullivan v Stuart Bingham – Monday January 14 at 1pm
Mark Selby v Stephen Maguire – Wednesday January 16 at 7pm
Judd Trump v Kyren Wilson – Wednesday January 16 at 1pm
Barry Hawkins v Shaun Murphy – Tuesday January 15 at 7pm
Mark Williams v Neil Robertson – Tuesday January 15 at 1pm

Luca Brecel and Mark Allen

Quarter-finals:
QF1 (Allen / Brecel v Ding / Lisowksi): Thursday January 17 at 7pm
QF2 (Higgins / Day v O’Sullivan / Bingham): Thursday January 17 at 1pm
QF3 (Selby / Maguire v Trump / Wilson): Friday January 18 at 1pm
QF4 (Hawkins / Murphy v Williams / Robertson): Friday January 18 at 7pm

Televised by BBC and Eurosport, the Dafabet Masters is one of snooker’s Triple Crown events with a history dating back to 1975.

Tickets for most sessions are still available but BOOK NOW because they will sell out now that the draw has been released.

VIP and corporate packages are also available for an extra special experience.

For details visit http://www.worldsnooker.com/tickets

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