To make the 2017 African Junior and Cadet Championships (AJC) and the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) qualifiers more engaging and entertaining, African Table Tennis Federation (ITTF Africa) has unveiled the social media handles for the continental tournament which holds in Tunis on April 9 to 15.
According to ITTF Africa, the platforms will give the media and fans across the world and Africa to follow their teams and get daily results including on and off the table videos and pictures during the championships.
With a Hashtag address of #ITTFAfricanJuniors, matches and results can also be followed on facebook.com/ITTFAfrica and Twitter account of the federation.
“We decided to unveil the social media platform in order to make the competition more exciting and engaging for fans across the globe because these are the future stars of the continent. We are going to be providing daily result as well as off the table activities of teams and players so that the continent can get familiar with these stars,” according to a statement issued by the media department of ITTF Africa.
It added that this year’s tournament would be used to select the African cadet team for the World Cadet Challenge as well as qualifiers for the World Junior Championships holding later in the year in Italy.
For seven days, the players will assemble in Tunis to compete for honours in singles, doubles and teams events while defending champions – Egypt will be aiming to hold on to the title it has been dominating in the last five years.
However, the 2018 Youth Olympic Games (YOG) Qualifiers will follow AJC on April 16 to 17, as teams will be aiming to get a slot in the four-man African representatives at YOG come 2018 in Argentina.
2017 Men’s African Club Volleyball Championship- Final
Ahly Egypt have claimed the African Club Championship trophy following their victory over Tunisia’s Etoile du Sahel 3-1 (20-25, 25-18, 25-20, 25-18) in the competition’s final held at Taraji Hall in Tunis, Tunisia on Monday.
Ahly won their 12th African title after 1980, 1983, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2010, 2011, 2015 to improve their record to 6 titles more than Sfax, the second team with the highest number of wins. Etoile kept their trophies and two titles in 2001 and 2002 but failed to add the third this term.
After the match CAVB President Dr Amr Elwani honoured the winners with the gold medals and the losers with the silver, While Algerian Bourj Bouaririj won the bronze medals.
Bourj Bouaririj claimed the bronze medal after they flew past Libya’s Swehly 3-0 (25-21, 25-19, 25-20) at Taraji Hall in the third place match.
Organisers Esperance of Tunisia claimed the 5th position beating Kenya Prisons 3-0 (25-19, 25-18, 25-19), while Libya’s newcomers Assarya captured the 7th place in their first ever participation at the African Club Championship after they overcame Cameroon’s FAP 3-0 (25-20, 25-18, 25-14).
Final and Bronze medal
Final: Ahly (Egypt) v Etoile du Sahel (Tunisia) 3-1 (20-25, 25-18, 25-20, 25-18). Bronze Medal: Bourj Bouaririj (Algeria) v Swehly (Libya) 3-0 (25-21, 25-19, 25-20).
5-6 places: Esperance (Tunisia) v Prisons (Kenya) 3-0 (25-19, 25-18, 25-19).
7-8 places: Assarya (Libya) v FAP (Cameroon) 3-0 (25-20, 25-18, 25-14).
Individual Awards Best Setter: Marouen Mrabet (Etoile- Tunisia) Best Receiver: Mohamed Abdelmoneim (Ahly- Egypt) Best Libero: Ali Moustafa (Swehly- Libya) Best Blocker: Abdelhalim Abou (Ahly- Egypt) Best Server: Hamza Ngga (Etoile- Tunisia) Best spiker: Bilal Soualem (Bourj- Algeria) MVP: Ahmed Kotb (Ahly- Egypt)
The management of Abubakar Bukola Saraki (ABS) Ilorin FC, has read riot act to the technical crew and players of the team to sit up and improve on their performances.
The club’s Director of Football, Alloy Chukwuemeka, at a meeting with the players and officials on Wednesday reminded them that the recent poor run of form is not acceptable. “We must work harder, you guys are good players and I believe in you.
“We must show more zeal to fight well and work as a team to achieve our objectives.
“I have confidence in you and your ability but all of you must sit up.
“We will not be happy with you all if results don’t improve” Chukwuemeka said.
Chukwuemeka charged the technical crew to review its programs to see where things are getting wrong. “Nobody can tell me the players are not good, because people are asking for their services. “All I will tell you is to reassess your programs and make amendments where necessary” Chukwuemeka added.
The Secretary of Nigeria Club Owners, also challenged his staff to ensure the players are comfortable at all times and give them necessary support.
The Saraki Boys will pit their wits with Abia Warriors in match day 17 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) fixture. They will also engage Rivers United on 5th April in a rescheduled match day 9 at the Yakubu Gown Stadium, Port Harcourt.
When Azeez Solanke made his debut at the ITTF African Junior Championships in 2016, he was not considered the arrowhead of the Nigerian team. But his impressive performance finally singled him out when he waded off competition from the Egyptians to make it to the semifinal round of the boys’ singles.
Again, the 15-year-old has selected as one of the players that will fly Nigeria’s flag at this year’s tournament in Tunis come April 9 to 15 and the youngster is eager to rock the boat with the Egyptian soldiers in all the events.
“I think attending more competitions in 2016 has helped my confidence because I have seen top players compete at the big stage while I have also discovered my mistakes as well. So in Tunisia, I am going there to make a name for myself and my country because it is a rare privilege to be considered to represent Nigeria despite the enormous talents in the country,” he said.
Azeez Solanke who was champion of the Olufunke Oshonaike Top 16 Championships for junior players in Nigeria believes the training he had under Segun Toriola and Olufunke Oshonaike has added to his skills.
“In the last one year, I have been privileged to be trained by two of Africa’s great players – Segun Toriola and Olufunke Oshonaike. I noticed that their kind of training was unique because they trained us with the modern style and this has impacted on me and it has helped me to win a state championship in Nigeria. There is no doubt that the coaching under these two legends has really helped us a lot in Nigeria and we are looking forward to more of this in future,” he said.
Azeez Solanke describes Egypt’s Yousef Abdel-Aziz as the only player that can stand between him and the boys singles title in Tunis. “I had played against some of the junior Egyptian players and I just discovered that it is only Germany-based Yousef Abdel-Aziz that has beaten me several times but after watching him at the last World Junior Championship in South Africa, I discovered that what gave him an edge over us is exposure. I am particularly prepared to wrestle the title from him. All other players in the Egyptian team have suffered defeats in my hand,” he boasted.
“I am aiming to do better than what I did in 2016 when I get to Tunis. I have been monitoring players from Tunisia, Algeria and Egypt and I noticed that they have been playing Junior Open across the globe while we are really training well in Lagos. As usual, we will try our best and hope for the best result in Tunis. I cannot wait to get to Tunisia for the championship,” Azeez Solanke said.
American showjumper Karl Cook (26), whose girlfriend Kaley Cuoco from “The Big Bang Theory” is also a keen equestrian, drew plenty of belly-laughs himself during the draw for the starting order at the FEI World Cup™ Finals 2017 in Omaha, Nebraska (USA) tonight. At the event staged in the theatre of the city’s Henry Doorly Zoo, and assisted by fellow-American and 2008 Olympic team gold medallist Laura Kraut (51), Cook also managed to give himself the perfect position on tomorrow’s starting grid as last to go of the 37 battling for the coveted Longines Jumping title.
Kraut pointed out however this will be a tough one to take. “Winning it is always difficult, and we’ve got so many of the best riders in the world here” she said. Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat will bid to become only the fifth three-time champion in the 39-year history of the prestigious series when 32nd to go.
The FEI World Cup™ Dressage draw was lively too, with Britain’s Carl Hester tipping Germany’s Isabell Werth (45) for top spot in the field of 16 crack contenders. And with the most medalled rider in the history of equestrian sport drawn in the prime last-to-go spot, Werth is clearly going to be a tough nut to crack.
She will ride into the arena tomorrow just after America’s Laura Graves who finished fourth at the Rio Olympics and who is carrying the hopes and dreams of US fans. But Hester’s co-host, Judy Reynolds (35), wasn’t going to be intimidated by all that tonight. When asked who she thought will be standing on the top step of the Dressage podium this weekend the Irish phenomenon gave a big cheeky grin and replied – “Me!”
Starting order for Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2017 Final, competition 1here Starting order for FEI World Cup™ Dressage 2017 Final Grand Prixhere
Facts and Figures:
Defending champion Steve Guerdat (SUI) is going for his third consecutive Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping title in Omaha (USA).
The first FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final took place in Gothenburg (SWE) in 1979 where Austria’s Hugo Simon came out on top with Gladstone. Gothenburg has hosted the FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final on 14 occasions.
Paris (FRA) will host the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping and the FEI World Cup™ Dressage Finals in 2018.
Four riders have claimed the FEI World Cup™ Jumping title on three occasions: Hugo Simon (AUT), Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum and Marcus Ehning (GER) and Rodrigo Pessoa from Brazil. Pessoa is the only rider to have won three back-to-back FEI World Cup™ Jumping titles on the same horse, the stallion Baloubet du Rouet.
The first FEI World Cup™ Dressage Final was held in ’s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands in 1986.
The first winner was Denmark’s Anne-Grethe Jensen riding Marzog.
The first time the FEI World Cup™ Dressage Final visited the USA was in 1995 when it was staged in Los Angeles.
The first American rider to win the FEI World Cup™ Dressage title was Debbie McDonald with the mare Brentina in Gothenburg 2003. There have only been two US champions, Steffen Peters and Ravel reigning supreme in Las Vegas 1990.
Social media: #FEIWorldCupWEL #RidetoOmaha #FEIWorldCupFinals #TwoHearts #Longines @LonginesEq
The FEI World Cup™ Dressage and Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2017 Finals bring together the world’s top horses and riders at the Century Link Centre in Omaha, Nebraska, USA. Qualified from leagues right across the globe, Olympic, World and European champions are amongst the representatives from 25 countries hoping to claim the prestigious titles in front of 60,000 fans.
Longines has been based at Saint-Imier (SUI) since 1832. Its watchmaking expertise reflects a strong devotion to Elegance, Tradition and Performance. It has generations of experience as the official timekeeper at world championships and as a partner of international sports federations. Longines’ passion for equestrian sports began in 1878, when a timepiece was made with a horse and jockey engraved on the watch face. Over the years, the brand has built strong and long-lasting links with equestrian sports. In 1912, for the first time, the brand was involved as timekeeper for a show jumping event in Portugal.
Today, Longines’ involvement in equestrian sports includes jumping, endurance and flat racing. Longines is a member of The Swatch Group S.A., the world’s leading manufacturer of horological products. With an excellent reputation for creating refined timepieces, the brand, whose emblem is the winged hourglass, has outlets in over 150 countries.
The National Chairman of Nigeria Football Supporters Club, Rev. Samuel Ikpea has commended the Minister of Sports, Barrister Solomon Dalung over his stance concerning the forthcoming sports federations elections.
In a recent interview with the press, Dalung stated that it would no longer be business as usual, during the elections. According to the minister, the government will not condone situations where elections are reportedly held in hotel rooms.
Reacting to the statement, Ikpea opined that the stance of the government will herald transparency, productivity and efficiency in all the sports federations.
“I commend the minister over the decision of the government to ensure that nobody is imposed on any of the sports federations. This would also help to avoid situations where square pegs are placed in round holes, ” Ikpea said.
“You know, in recent past, the minister had courted controversies over statements credited to him. It is a good thing to note that the honourable minister is improving concerning his policy statements, ” he added.
The soft spoken administrator went on to commiserate with the government and the NFF over the passing away of former national player and coach, Paul Hamilton, who died after a protracted illness.
” This is another sad, but avoidable death in Nigerian sports. On behalf of the Nigeria Football Supporters Club, I commiserate with the ministry of sports, NFF and the family of the decease.
” And we pray that God in His Infinite mercies grant his family the fortitude to bear this irreparable loss, ” Ikpea remarked.
Nigeria endured a torrid time on Thursday at the 2017 ITF/CAT African Junior Championships holding in Johannesburg, South Africa as the boys’ teams succumbed to defeat in their doubles matches at the event featuring over 100 players from about 30 countries.
In the boys’ 16 and under, Michael Osewa and Michael Ayoola lost 7-5, 6-2 to South African Codie Van Schalkwyk and Damien Laporte of the Seychelles.
The match saw Osewa, who is the most-experienced Nigerian player at the tournament, facing Laporte for the first time after the player from the Indian Ocean Island triumphed in the final of the boys’ 14 and under last year.
Van Schalkwyk is the third seed in the singles and he justified his rating by influencing the outcome of the match hitting most of the winners in the first round encounter.
In the boy’s 14 and under, David Dawariye and Mathew Abamu were put through a more harrowing experience as they threw away a 6-3 first set win against Zimbabwean duo of Taona Mhwandagara and Ethnan Sibanda, who rallied to win the second set 6-3 and then followed it with a 10-2 super tie-break win. Abamu had claimed the scalp of Mhwandagara in the singles on Monday but met him on a different level this time around.
Marylove Edward is the only Nigerian left in the doubles and she is paired with Lorie Lemongo of Cameroun due to the absence of Oyinlomo Barakat Quadre as a result of injury.
The double-forehand double backhand player and her partner are draw bye in the first round and will face the partnership of Claire Maschsa and Rufaro Magarira, who triumphed 6-2, 3-6, 10-7 over Angela Okutoyi and Alicia Owegi of Kenya.