Snooker Ace O’Sullivan To Play On Opening Night In Cheltenham

Snooker’s leading players will be in Cheltenham next month for the Coral World Grand Prix, with crowd favourite Ronnie O’Sullivan to play on the opening night.

Staged at the Centaur arena, it’s the first ever professional snooker event to be held at Cheltenham Racecourse. The world ranking event runs from February 4 to 10 with a top prize of £100,000 up for grabs.

The leading 32 players on snooker’s one-year ranking list qualify for the event. The field is not yet confirmed as there is still one more counting event, the German Masters which finishes on February 3.

However many top stars are already guaranteed a place in the draw. The following first round matches, for the current top eight players on the one-year list, have been scheduled:

Ronnie O’Sullivan

Monday February 4

7pm
Five-time World Champion Ronnie O’Sullivan v opponent
2018 Masters champion Mark Allen v opponent

Tuesday February 5

1pm
Current World Champion Mark Williams v opponent
Triple Crown winner Neil Robertson v opponent

7pm
Northern Ireland Open champion Judd Trump v opponent
Cheltenham’s rising star Jack Lisowski v opponent

Wednesday February 6

1pm
World number one Mark Selby v opponent
World Open finalist David Gilbert v opponent

Ronnie O’Sullivan
Ronnie O’Sullivan won the world grand prix last year

Other top stars currently in line to qualify include John Higgins, Shaun Murphy, Stuart Bingham, Kyren Wilson, Barry Hawkins and Ding Junhui. The full draw and format will be announced as soon as it is available.

A spokesman for World Snooker said: “It’s looking like an incredibly strong field for Cheltenham, we’re delighted to see a superb line up building. This is going to be a great opportunity for the local fans to see the very best players on the planet and experience the unique thrill of live snooker.

“We have scheduled matches for the top eight so that fans know when their favourites will be in action. We expect tickets to sell extremely fast for those sessions so they must be booked quickly.

“There is a great sense of anticipation among the players to compete at the world famous Cheltenham Racecourse for the first time and we have no doubt that this will be a wonderful week of top class sporting action.”

Televised by ITV, the Coral World Grand Prix is the first in the Coral series, to be followed by the Coral Players Championship in Preston and new Coral Tour Championship in Llandudno.

Tickets for Cheltenham are now on sale and start at just £15, tremendous value for money.

For an extra special experience there are also amazing hospitality packages available for all sessions, for up to 18 people in a private box.

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

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Ticket Sales Launched For WBSC Men’s Softball World Championship 2019 in Czech Republic

The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) and host Czech Softball Association (CSA) today announced the launch of global ticket sales — with GoOut the exclusive ticket agent — for the WBSC Men’s Softball World Championship 2019, which will be staged in Czech capital Prague and Havlickuv Brod from 13-23 June.

Fans around the world can purchase tickets to the world’s highest-level men’s softball competition exclusively through GoOut, one of the top online ticketing platforms in the central European host country.

“These are great news for the loyal men’s softball fan base around the world,” said Tommy Velazquez, WBSC Softball Division Chairman. “It’s the first ever Men’s Softball World Championship in Europe, in one of the most beautiful countries in the world. We expect high ticket demand for the tournament, and fully packed diamonds in Prague and Havlickuv Brod in June.”

“We’re less than six months away from the first pitch, and we’re excited launching our ticket sales platform for the World Championship,” said Gabriel Waage, President of the Czech Softball Association. “Fans from Czech Republic are anxious to witness the most important softball event in the history of our country, and finally they will be able to buy their tickets,”

Early tournament packages are available for all the games in both venues, with single passes for the opening round group stage as well as playoffs available.

As a promotional activity and community service — and to connect the sport with more youth — students from local schools will be granted free entrance to the morning competitions.

Special rates are available for children, pensioners, persons in wheelchairs and Czech softball clubs.

“Mr. Home Run”

Official Mascot “Mr. Home Run” revealed in Promo video

The CSA produced a promotional video to help kick off tickets sales, revealing the mascot of the tournament, Mr. Home Run, in iconic locations across the Czech capital.

The WBSC Men’s Softball World Championship features the top softball players, teams and nations in the world. The world championship event will be held at Svoboda Park in Prague and Hippos Arena in Havlickuv Brod.

The 16 teams battling for the title of softball champion of the world include:
Africa (2): No. 12 South Africa, No. 13 Botswana.
Americas (6): No. 2 Canada, No. 5 Argentina, No. 6 United States, No. 8 Venezuela, No. 9 Mexico, No. 24 Cuba (wild card).
Asia (3): No. 3 Japan, No. 17 Philippines, No. 22 Singapore.
Europe (3): No. 7 Czech Republic, No. 11 Denmark, No. 19 Netherlands.
Oceania (2): No. 1 New Zealand, No. 4 Australia

The groups and game-schedule will be announced in upcoming news releases.

2019 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon: Olude Fadekemi Vows To Reclaim Title

After being beaten to the first position among Nigerian (female) runners at the 2018 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, Olude Fadekemi has vowed to reclaim her crown at next month’s race.

Olude who is the current National Record holder in the 20km Walk Race finished as the number one Nigeria woman at the 2017 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, but she dropped to second place in 2018; losing the crown to Deborah Pam.

To reclaim the number one position at the 2019 Marathon, Olude revealed that she has since stepped up her training schedule and she is equally working extra hard to ensure that she comes tops this term.

“I was not too happy that I could not defend my title last year, I only finished in second place but this year I want the first position again, “she said in a statement issued by Olukayode Thomas, Head Media and Communications for the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon.

Olude who had a memorable 2018 in which she represented Nigeria at the Commonwealth Games in Australia and also emerged as a gold medal winner at the National Sports Festival among many other accomplishments said she is keen to start 2019 brightly with a win at the Lagos Marathon.

“The year 2018 was very good for me but of course I want 2019 to be better starting with the Lagos Marathon, I will also be competing at the All African Games and many other competitions this year,” Olude revealed.

Olude Fadekemi

Asked who her major threat could be at the 2019 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, Olude identified Deborah Pam as her major threat but promised to give her a run for her money this year.

As a means of encouraging Nigerian runners, organisers of the Acess Bank Lagos City Marathon has always had in place a separate prize category to reward the local runners outside the general prizes for all runners from across the world.

FINA ARTISTIC SWIMMING WORLD SERIES 2019 – HOSTS & DATES

The final calendar of the FINA Artistic Swimming World Series 2019 has been announced, with eight hosts in Europe and Asia staging the event from February to June.

The event will kick-off in Europe with three hosts: Paris (FRA) from February 28 to March 3, Alexandroupolis (GRE) on April 4-7 and Kazan (RUS) from April 19-21.

Two Asian hosts, Tokyo (JPN) and Beijing (CHN) will then welcome the 2019 circuit on April 27-29 and May 4-5 respectively.

The artistic swimming competition will then move to North America as Greensboro (USA) will stage the sixth leg from May 24-26 and Quebec City (CAN) the seventh leg from May 30 to June 1.

Photo credit FINA

Finally the circuit will conclude in Barcelona (ESP) from May 31- June 2, before the first Super Final is organised in Budapest (HUN) from June 14-16, 2019.

Paris (FRA) : 28 February – 3 March
Alexandroupolis (GRE) : 4 – 7 April
Kazan (RUS) : 19-21 April
Tokyo (JPN) : 27 – 29 April
Beijing (CHN) : 4 – 6 May
Greensboro (USA) : 24 – 26 May
Quebec City (CAN) : 30 May – 1 June
Barcelona (ESP) : 31 May – 2 June
Super Final – Budapest (HUN) – June 14-16

Charity Obuah Takes Over The Reins As Go Round FC President

Charity Obuah is the new president of Go Round FC and this took effect from Monday, January 14, 2019.

The former president, Felix Obuah stepped down from the role to chase another endeavour.

Felix Obuah has been president of the club since 1994 and decided to relinquish the position on Saturday, January 12, 2019 to pursue an elective position in the Rivers State Football Association.

Charity Obuah

Charity Obuah, wife of Felix was the vice-president of the club and was named as his replacement on Monday, January 14.

Soni Uboh remains General Manager of the club.

We Want To Be In Poland For FIFA U20 World Cup – Aigbogun

Head Coach Paul Aigbogun has declared the readiness of his Nigeria U20 squad to give their very best in all group phase matches at the Africa U20 Cup of Nations in Niger Republic, in order to qualify to represent Africa at the FIFA U20 World Cup slated for Poland mid-year.

“It is a tournament we are going to approach with all seriousness. This team has a huge burden on it because of the previous performances of Nigeria at U20 level. Nigeria has won the competition seven times and anything less than coming home with the trophy would always be seen as failure.

“Playing in the WAFU Cup tournament in Togo gave my players sneak preview of what things would look like in Niger Republic, and we learnt a lot from the defeat to Senegal in the final match.”

Nigeria play host nation Niger Republic, South Africa and Burundi in Group A of the U20 AFCON, with venue based in Niamey. But the Flying Eagles have an interesting tune –up game against their Saudi Arabian counterparts in Jeddah on Tuesday next week.

That encounter comes on 25 days short of 30 years to the day the Flying Eagles edged their Saudi Arabian counterparts 2-1 in the opening match of the 1989 FIFA World Youth Championship (now FIFA U20 World Cup) at the King Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh.

Paul Aigbogun
Photo credit: Enyimba FC

At the eight –team U20 AFCON taking place in Niger Republic, 2nd – 17th February, all four semi finalists will qualify to fly Africa’s flag at the FIFA U20 World Cup in Poland, set for 23rd May – 15th June.

Poland, which co-hosted the 2012 European Championship with Ukraine, will host the 24 –nation finals in the cities of Lublin, Bielsko Biala, Tychy, Bydgoszcz, Gdynia and Lodz. The Draw Ceremony has already been set for 24th February at the Gdynia Sports Arena in the city of Gdynia.

NANJING ADDED TO IAAF WORLD CHALLENGE CALENDAR

A new meeting in Nanjing, China, is among the key changes to the IAAF World Challenge calendar for 2019.

Nanjing, the host city of the 2014 Youth Olympic Games and the 2020 IAAF World Indoor Championships, will stage an IAAF World Challenge meeting at the Nanjing Olympic Sports Centre on 21 May.

The Grande Premio Brasil de Atletismo in Bragança Paulista has moved from 18 May to 28 April to avoid clashing with the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Shanghai and the IAAF World Challenge meeting in Osaka.

It also means that the IAAF World Challenge will start in Brazil for the first time in the 10-year history of the circuit, helping to establish a better rhythm and frequency in the calendar.

Meanwhile, the Meeting Madrid will not be part of the IAAF World Challenge this year.

Beatrice Chepkoech
© Kirby Lee

2019 IAAF World Challenge calendar

28 Apr – Bragança Paulista, Brazil
4 May – Kingston, Jamaica
19 May – Osaka, Japan
21 May – Nanjing, China
9 Jun – Hengelo, Netherlands
11 Jun – Turku, Finland
20 Jun – Ostrava, Czech Republic
1 Sep – Berlin, Germany
3 Sep – Zagreb, Croatia

IAAF

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