WRESTLING: Nigeria To Participate In “Beat The Streets” Tournament In The USA

The Nigeria Wrestling Federation (NWF) will send 3 female freestyle wrestlers to the Beat the Streets event in New York on the invitation of United States Wrestling Federation.

The one-day event which is scheduled to be staged near the heart of New York City, will hold on Thursday, 17th May, 2018.

The wrestlers who will be drawn from the 55kg, 57kg and 59kg weight classes, will be accompanied by a coach and a team leader, with their flight tickets, accommodation and other logistics, to be catered for by the organisers of the event.

“This is a great opportunity for your strong federation to showcase good will with the United States while at the same time promoting the sport of wrestling,” an invitation letter sent to the NWF, read.

“As our sport moves forward, it is still very important that the wrestling world powers continue to unite and show growth to the International Olympic Committee, and this event is the perfect opportunity to help support wrestling on both a grassroots and international level.”

Team Nigeria

The organizers also assured the Nigeria contingent of a pleasant and an unforgettable stay in New York during the event.

“Furthermore, we will make sure to make your stay in New York City as comfortable and memorable as possible,” the letter read.

Team Nigeria is expected to arrive New York for the event on 14th May and depart on 18th May, 2018, a day after the competition.

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Nairobi Comes Alive For 2018 ITTF Africa Top 16 Cup

The Kasarani Indoor Arena of Moi International Sports Centre will be agog from Thursday March 1 as the best 32 table tennis stars in Africa converge for the 2018 ITTF Africa Top 16 Cup.

29 years after staging the maiden ITTF World Cup, Kenya is hosting the three-day tournament, which serves as continental qualifiers for the prestigious ITTF World Cup.

The home fans will be looking up to Sejal Thakkar and Brain Mutua who are ready to rub shoulders with the best in the continent.

Among the array of stars in Nairobi are world number 16 and 22 – Egypt’s Omar Assar and Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri as well as seven-time Olympian – Nigeria’s Segun Toriola.

Already the 16 male and 16 female have been drawn into four groups of four with the top two players advancing to the knockout stage.

The championship will be officially opened by Kenya’s Sports Cabinet Secretary, Rashid Echesa Mohammed and he will be assisted by top officials of the world table tennis ruling body – International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF).

According to the President of Kenya Table Tennis Association (KTTA), Andrew Mudibo, preparations have been concluded for the commencement of the competition.

The KTTA boss urged Kenyans to turn out in large numbers to come and enjoy the thrilling action from various teams lead by the host – Kenya, Nigeria, Egypt, Algeria among others. Entrance is free and the gates will open at 9:30am

Sejal will be the first Kenyan on the floor against Oshonaike Olufunke of Nigeria, Kessaci Katia of Algeria and Christy Brustol of Seychelles in group two. The 42 year old mother of two will be using the tournament as part of preparations for next month’s Commonwealth Games.

“We are quite ready, the players are very tough some of them are world ranked but we will give it our best. After our new coach arrived we have been working on everything from serving, receiving, techniques, posture, speed because the game has evolved really fast. You have to be very quick on your movements and how you coordinate yourself.

While 19 year old Mutua a student at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) has been drawn in group two where he will fight for the only available slot for next year’s World Cup, he will play against top tier players lead by Aruna Quadri of Nigeria, Idowu Saheed of Congo and Nyoh Ofon Derek of Cameroon

“We have prepared well to play against the guys and the exposure will be good for the other games that are coming. I will be facing some really tough players tomorrow, a good mind set and positive attitude will come in handy for me as we head for the Games”, Brian Mutua.

2018 Nationwide League Pre-Season Friendly: Freestan Continues Impressive Run

Freestan football club continue its preparations for the 2018 Nationwide League season with another impressive outing this morning against Remo Stars in Sagamu.

The Lagos based Nationwide league side played out a 1-1 draw against the NNL side. It was the Ajegunle boys’ second game in a week.

Remo Stars began the game in a frenzy and tried severally to get the opener, but were repelled repeatedly by the Sodiq Musa led defence.

After the early blitz, Freestan came to the fray with its characteristic possession game that had their more illustrious opponents chasing shadows.

The end to end game eventually produced a goal at the tail end of the first half. When the ever impressive Junior Ogbugo in goal for Freestan conceded a goal as the Soname boys retired to the dressing room with a 1-0 lead.

Freestan FC

The second stanza began on a faster pace and with Freestan dictating the pace as it searched for the equalizer. Attacking duo of Agha and Idara continued to torment the opposition and with ceaseless supplies from midfield dynamo, Kunle Irinyemi.

The search and raids eventually paid off as Idara finished off an intricate passing move for the equalizer. Moments after, diminutive Kunle flopped the chance to grab the winner as he couldn’t beat the Remo goalkeeper in a one on one situation.

The game was the second in a week for the Ajegunle side. It had earlier defeated another NNL side, Ikorodu United 1-0 in a friendly game.

Draw Concluded for Liebherr 2018 World Team Table Tennis Championships

The draw for the Liebherr 2018 Team World Championships has taken place today, 27 February 2018, in Halmstad, Sweden with the help of Swedish table tennis legends Jörgen Persson and Asa Carlsson (formally Svensson).

The top 24 Men’s and Women’s Teams on earth were drawn into the four groups of six for the first stage of the biggest table tennis event in the world which will take place 29 April to 6 May 2018.

The Swedish Men’s Team, were placed in the number one seeds Germany’s group together with Hong Kong, Egypt, Romania and Slovenia.

Upon the conclusion of the draw ceremony, Swedish Men’s Coach Ulf CARLSSON shared “The draw looks good for Sweden, but no draw at a World Championships will be easy. It is good to avoid China, but then it is more likely we will play them in the second round, so it does not make much of a difference. I am looking forward to my team playing in front of a packed house in Halmstad to support us to win as many matches as possible!”

Defending Champions China will be looking to repeat their success at the last edition of the World Team Table Tennis Championships in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The top seeded Chinese Women’s Team will take the lead in Group A comprising of Singapore, Russia, India, Belarus and host Swedish team, whereas the Chinese Men’s Team were placed in Group B with Portugal, Brazil, Russia, Czech Republic and DPR Korea.

Fans will be in for another England – Japan epic clash early in the Men’ Team group stage in Halmstad. The last two encounters between the two teams have both ended with Japan winning narrowly in dramatic fashion, at the 2016 World Team Table Tennis Championships, and at the recently concluded 2018 ITTF Team World Cup.

The top finishing teams from the four groups progress directly to the quarter finals with the second and third teams playing off to join them in the final eight.

The 8-days Liebherr 2018 World Team Table Tennis Championships will take place at the Halmstad Arena is set to be one of the biggest World Championships of all time, with the world’s best table tennis teams battling it out for the Men’s & Women’s World Team Championship titles.

UNFLAPPABLE ANAEMENA PROVING HIS WORTH AT ENYIMBA

Up until the ball deflected off the shin of Ifeanyi Anaemena, wrongfooting Fatau Dauda in the 50th minute of Sunday’s meeting with Sunshine Stars, Enyimba had not conceded in nine NPFL home matches.

That unique bit of history was truncated by that fateful ricochet in the rain; beyond that, it brought a tense game level in less than ideal weather conditions. It placed the onus on the two-time African champions to do something they had not done all season long: score twice in a league game.

The pressure, then, was intense. On the team as a whole, but also on Anaemena who had, up until that point, been impeccable. Such a sterling defensive record is not held by accident: his pairing at the heart of the defence with Nelson Ogbonnaya has proven particularly profitable.

“The centre-backs and full-backs have been fantastic throughout the season,” he told Enyimba Media.

“There is no particular focus on defence. My pairing with Nelson (Ogbonnaya) has been an encouraging one for me because I’ve played alongside him for two seasons now, and we’ve gotten a common understanding.”

In the immediate aftermath of that concession, there was a different understanding for Anaemena: he needed to make amends. Four minutes after, he fired off a volley which was acrobatically tipped over by Moses Ocheje. Then, in the 70th minute: redemption.

Stanley Dimgba’s pass into the path of Stephen Chukwude on the right set up a crossing opportunity. It also, however, meant there was a deficit of numbers in the middle. Charging up from the back to make it up was Anaemena, and the defender towered high to crash a header off the crossbar and in for the game’s winner.

“Yeah, it was actually a power up for me – scoring an own-goal,” he admitted.

“It never demoralized me, it gave me a positive mindset that I can get something out, and I thank God I actualized my dream of scoring the winning goal.”

It is this single-minded determination that has seen Anaemena rise to prominence at Enyimba. The defender, who joined from Giwa FC in 2014, has risen to second vice-captain, and plays in an uncompromising style which has seen him thrive.

It is not, however, strictly a matter of brute force. There is some silk to go with the steel, and a fierce intelligence which has enabled him to adapt in all situations. He was expansive when asked how he coped with the teeming rain at the weekend.

Ifeanyi Anaemena

“It was a rainy match, and anything can happen. The rain almost spoiled the match plan for us. We were able to keep our heads up, and play according to the demands of “rain ball” (sic): you have to take it all out, because any mistake can result in a goal as the grass is slippery.”

His performances seem to have gone up a notch this season too, but he is keen to emphasize the progress the entire team has made. “It’s not only [about] me,” he insisted.

What it certainly is about is the glory of Enyimba. Anaemena admits the club has given him so much, and is looking forward to the challenge of the CAF Confederation Cup in early March.

“Enyimba being the best team in Nigeria has given a positive output by winning the Champions League consecutively, and so we have the mindset that we are going to back up the name that Enyimba have made.”

SIX WORLD INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS MEDALS TO BE REALLOCATED IN BIRMINGHAM

Six World Indoor Championships medals will be reallocated during ceremonies at the IAAF World Indoor Championships Birmingham 2018 on Friday and Saturday 2-3 March. These upgrades follow the disqualification of the results of the original medallists after their sanction for anti-doping rule violations.

Among those receiving their reallocated medals is Tianna Bartoletta of the USA, who was promoted to gold in the long jump for the 2006 World Indoor Championships in Moscow. Her ceremony, which will include a flag raising and national anthem, will take place in Arena Birmingham at the start of the evening session on Saturday 3 March.

In total, six athletes from across five events at three previous editions of the IAAF World Indoor Championships have accepted invitations to receive their reallocated medals in Birmingham.

Photo credit: IAAF/© Getty Images

“After the very positive feedback at the beginning of the new reallocation process last August in London, we are delighted to continue to honour the athletes for their achievements,” said IAAF President Sebastian Coe. “And what better way than in front of full arena of passionate athletics fans at a major championships.”

IAAF World Indoor Championships medal reallocation ceremonies in Birmingham:
Friday 2 March
Shot put men – Moscow 2006
– Joachim Olsen, DEN, promoted from bronze to silver
Time slot: 17:44
Shot put men – Doha 2010
– Ralf Bartels, GER, promoted from bronze to silver
Time slot: 17:46

Saturday 3 March
Long jump women – Moscow 2006
– Tianna Bartoletta, USA, promoted from silver to gold
– Concepcion Montaner, ESP, promoted from fourth to bronze
Time slot: 17:33

Triple jump women – Valencia 2008
– Marija Šestak, SLO, promoted from bronze to silver
Time slot 17:36

Pentathlon women – Doha 2010
– Hyleas Fountain, USA, promoted from fourth to bronze
Time slot 17:38

© Jiro Mochizuki

Naide Gomes (POR), who was promoted to silver in the long jump in 2006, Li Meiju (CHN) and Misleydis Gonzalez (CUB), who were promoted to silver and bronze in the shot put in 2008, Olga Rypakova (KAZ), promoted to bronze in the triple jump for 2008, Valerie Adams (NZL) and Nadine Kleinert (GER), who were promoted to gold and bronze in the shot put in 2010, and Michelle Carter (USA), who was promoted to silver in the shot put for 2012, are unable to attend. The IAAF is in contact with their national federations to find other occasions to present them with their medals.

The Czech Republic women’s team that was promoted to bronze in the 4x400m relay in 2010 will receive their medals at the IAAF Continental Cup in September in Ostrava.

Ground Breaking Registrations Recorded For 2018 African Youth Games (Volleyball)

In an un-preceded occasion, 21 countries have officially registered for the volleyball competition of the third African Youth games to be held in Algeria, July 19 to 28, 2018.

The finals of the African Youth games will feature 8 teams including the host nation Algeria and one representative from each of the 7 continental zones.

As mentioned by the African Volleyball Confederation “CAVB”, qualifiers to determine the 7 zonal representatives shall be held latest by the end of April 2018.

Registered teams

Youth Olympic Games 2010 in Singapore
Match for 5/6
Iran (IRI) vs. D.R. Congo (COD)
Congo prepares for the match
Copyright: FIVB / Conny Kurth