Bello rules NTTF National Women Singles Open Championship

Seventy-two hours after emerging as champion at the All African games trial, Fatimo Bello showed her quality to dominate the maiden Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) National Women Singles Open Championship concluded at the Molade Okoya-Thomas Hall of Teslim Balogun Stadium.

She fought her way into the final brushing aside the likes of national player, Cecilia Otu-Akpan as well as returnee Ganiat Aruna to set up a final clash against former junior champion – Tosin Oribamise.

Despite not having the chance to compete in international tournaments like her opponent in the final – Oribamise, Bello made nonsense of the experience of her opponent.

Oribamise who is considered to be Nigeria’s most travelled and experienced player in recent times, was no match for Bello who thrashed the Ekiti State-born Oribamise 4-0 (11 -7, 11-6, 11-8, 11-4) to cart home the N200,000 star prize money.

An excited Bello said she is determined to make the Nigerian team to the 2019 All Africa Games in Morocco.

“I’m very happy and excited about the victory. This is going to help me a lot because I won’t stop training.

Training is the key to my success and hopefully I will continue to win. I actually started training two months ago for the trials and this Women Singles championship and I was expecting to win, so it is not a surprise. As the first winner of this tournament which means I’m one of the best players in Nigeria, I will like to play abroad and do all my possible best if I get the opportunity. I’m looking forward to playing for the National team and also excelling with the team,” she said.

Fatimo Bello

The tournament sponsored by the NTTF President, Engineer Ishaku Tikon was created to rate female players and select the national team for major championships and the NTTF boss admitted that the objectives of the tournament has been achieved.

“We have achieved our aim of staging the competition. A new queen has emerged and the line-up according to their ranking have also been established, we are good to go and we are prepared to conquer Africa and we are on our way to dominate table tennis in the region,” Tikon said.

Also Speaking after the tournament former President of the NTTF, Wahid Oshodi said, the performance of the players was encouraging and with constant training and regular competitions, the players would be ready to compete with the best.

Quadre, Sylvester Are CBN Tennis Champions

Teen sensation, Oyinlomio Quadre, clinched her first Central Bank of Nigeria Open singles crown on Saturday with a resounding 6-0,6-1 win over Christy Agugbom while defending champions Sylvester Emmanuel retained his men’s singles title with a 6-4, 6-4 triumph over Abdulmumin Babalola.

A packed final at the Centre Court of the National Tennis Centre, Abuja saw the Morocco-based Quadre dominated the clash to announce her arrival at the top of domestic stage. Quadre, one of the best talents in junior tennis in Africa in recent times, said she would work harder knowing that all eyes are on her.

“I’m very happy to win my first CBN title; this is a dream comes true for me because CBN is one tournament that every Nigerian player cherished,” said the 16-year-old

In the men’s singles final, Babalola’s chase for a record seventh CBN Open title was dashed by Emmanuel, who has now cemented his position as the undisputed top player in Nigeria. The champions each pocketed N700, 000 while the finalists got N500, 000.

Quadre also paired Mary Tenu-Michael to beat the duo of Agugbom and Blessing Samuel to clinch the women’s doubles with Babalola and Lawal Shehu clinching the men’s doubles at the expense of Joseph Imeh and Christian Paul.

Alex Adewale and Kafayat Omisore both clinched the men’s and ladies’ singles in the wheelchair tennis with Adewale clinching his sixth-successive title by beating Wasiu Yusuf 6-1, 6-0 while Omisore edged Chituru Nwazuru 4-6, 6-4, 11-9.

CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, says the apex bank is totally committed to the sponsorship of the tournament.

Emefiele, who was represented by CBN Head of Corporate Communications, Isaac Okoreafor, said the championship has served as the springboard to limelight for Nigerian tennis players and CBN are determined to take it to a higher level.

OYINLOMO QUADRE

NTF president, Ifedayo Akindoju, pointed that there has been tremendous players’ improvement pointing that the emergence Quadre, who defeated a hosts of experienced players on her way to the title, is an attestation to the impact that the tournament has made over the years.

He commended the CBN for its unremitting support for Tennis in Nigeria pointing to their sponsorship of the CBN Juniors which is in its 16th year.

A host of high-profile personnel including the immediate NTF president and former Minister of Sports, Engr. Sani Ndanusa, CAT Zone 2 Vice President and NTF board member, Mr. Yemi Owoseni, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Sports, Adesola Olusola, Director Federation of Elites Athletes, Mrs Tayo Oreweme, Director ITA Godwin Kienka and top CBN officials attended the final.

JUDO TRIAL: Edo Dep Gov Praises Resilience Of Athletes, Charges Them To Excel At All Africa Games

The Deputy Governor of Edo State, Hon. Phillip Shaibu, has urged Judokas pencilled down for this year’s All Africa Games, to strive to win medals for Nigeria at the continental Games.

Shaibu, who spoke at the closing ceremony of National Judo Open Trials for the Games, which held in Benin City, was represented by Godwin Dudu-Orumen, Chairman of the Edo State Commission, Wole Opatola, Media Coordinator for the trials disclosed.

The judo tournament, which was sponsored by the Edo State Sports Commission in conjunction with Peculiar Ultimate Concerns Limited, doubled as trials to select judokas for the All Africa Games. More than 50 judokas representing the states in the federation, tertiary institutions and clubs, participated in an intense competition spanning three days.

Shaibu was among dignitaries including Honourable Frank Okiye, Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly, Brown Ebewele, a former national decathlon champion and one-time Commissioner of sports in Edo State, Peter Nelson, Deputy Director of Sports at the Federal Ministry of Youths and Sports, officials of the Nigeria Judo federation, and Dr Felicia Egbasei, Acting Sports Director, University of Benin, Edo State, who witnessed the closing ceremony.

While encouraging the athletes to give their participation at the All Africa Games, their best shot, the Edo State Deputy Governor admonished them that competition should not be a do-or die affair.

“You all have given us fantastic performances that will stay in our minds for a very long time to come and I wish the selected Judoka the very best at the All Africa Games”.

“The Olympic spirit is not all about winning, in fact, the focus and celebration is about participation.

“It has been our honour to host this trials. It has truly been our privilege to be touched and inspired by the courage and determination of our athletes,” Shaibu said.

Also speaking at the event, Suleiman Musa, a 1995 All Africa Games Gold medallist, said the present crop of discovered Judoka needed time to develop.

“I am happy with the athletes’ willingness and determination and I believe if given time and good preparation, they will do very well. The Sports Ministry should also increase our slots from four to eight weight categories as I believe we are capable of doing well at the games”, said Musa who also represented Nigeria at the Barcelona 1992 and Atlanta 1996 Olympics Games.

The Trials was declared closed by Honourable Okiye, Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly, who echoing the sentiments of the Deputy Governor, noted that the people of Edo State had been titillated by the spectacular performances of the judokas during the trial and wished them the best at the All Africa Games, which will hold in August this year in Rabat, Capital of Morocco.

NBA and Agence Française de Développement expand Jr. NBA program in Morocco as part of Multiyear Partnership

NBA and Agence Française de Développement expand Jr. NBA program in Morocco as part of Multiyear Partnership

The National Basketball Association (NBA) and the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), France’s inclusive public development bank committed to financing and technical assistance for projects that improve the lives of people in developing and emerging economies, today unveiled a new basketball court in Zenata, Morocco and will expand the NBA’s existing Jr. NBA programming in the country.

As part of the new Jr. NBA Zenata in partnership with AFD, the NBA and AFD today unveiled a new basketball court that is part of the newly-renovated sports park in Zenata. As part of the partnership expansion, the NBA and AFD will also conduct basketball clinics for youth in Zenata that will run through September 2019. Zenata aims to promote integrated and controlled urban and social development within the larger Casablanca metropolitan area to make it a model of a sustainable city. Funded by AFD at 150 million euros, the future ecocity of Zenata is expected to eventually house 300,000 inhabitants and create 100,000 jobs.

The opening ceremony at the new baketball court was held at Parcours Sportif Côtier Zenata in the presence of AFD CEO Rémy Rioux; NBA Africa Managing Director and Basketball Africa League President, Amadou Gallo Fall; Société d’Aménagement Zanata CEO Mohamed Amine El Hajhouj; and 2011 NBA Champion Ian Mahinmi (Washington Wizards; France).

“We are thrilled to formally launch the unprecedented partnership between the NBA and AFD as we inaugurate, in Morocco, the very first basketball court of our joint program. We are honored to do so in the presence of the NBA in Zenata. This location was not chosen at random. What better way to build a world in common and embrace Agenda 2030 than leveraging, with the African youth, the unifying power of sport in a sustainable city expressing the will of the Kingdom of Morocco to be at the forefront of sustainable development and social link,” said CEO of the Agence Française de Développement, Rémy Rioux.

”The launch of the new Jr. NBA program in Zenata in partnership with AFD continues our commitment to use the transformative power of sport to positively impact African youth,” said Fall. “We hope that the new basketball court will encourage more young boys and girls in Morocco to play the game of basketball and live healthy, active lifestyles.”

In July 2018, the NBA and AFD announced their plan (https://on.NBA.com/2XCpqtt) to jointly promote social inclusion by developing basketball infrastructure and conducting youth basketball programs, events and initiatives in Côte d’Ivoire, Morocco, Senegal, Nigeria and select other African countries. With sport being an essential part of AFD’s strategy and a major tool for sustainable development, the partnership also aims to combine sport practice with educational training activities to raise awareness among youth on issues including sustainable development, education, health and wellness, citizenship, social inclusion, gender equality, and entrepreneurship.

The Jr. NBA Zenata in partnership with AFD expands Jr. NBA programming in Morocco and builds on the existing Jr. NBA Leagues in Ifrane and Rabat.

The Jr. NBA, the league’s global youth basketball program for boys and girls, teaches the fundamental skills as well as the core values of the game – teamwork, respect, determination and community – at the grassroots level in an effort to help grow and improve the youth basketball experience for players, coaches and parents. This year, the NBA and its teams plan to reach more than 51 million youth in 75 countries through league play, in-school programming, clinics, skills challenges, and other outreach events.

AFD backs France’s conviction that sport is a factor of economic and social development. It is both a real economic driver in terms of creating wealth and jobs, as well as a tool for social ties, unity, and a strong vector for equality between men and women.

In the framework of the overall NBA-AFD project, basketball practices will be regularly offered to young people ages 8-18, who in addition to learning how to play, will also be able to develop life skills.

The NBA has a long history in Africa and opened its African headquarters in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2010. Opening-night rosters for the 2018-19 season featured 13 African-born players, and there are more than 80 current and former NBA players from Africa or with direct family ties to the continent, including Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famers Hakeem Olajuwon (Nigeria) and Dikembe Mutombo (Democratic Republic of the Congo). In August 2019, 10 boys and 10 girls will represent Africa in the second Jr. NBA Global Championship (https://on.NBA.com/31YvlIF), a youth basketball tournament for the top 13- and 14-year-old boys and girls from around the world in Orlando, Fla.

The NBA has held three sold-out Africa Games, in Johannesburg in 2015 and 2017 and in Pretoria in 2018, in support of charities including UNICEF, the Nelson Mandela Foundation and SOS Children’s Villages South Africa (SOSCVSA). Through NBA Cares, the NBA has created 87 places for children and families to live, learn and play in seven African countries.

In February, the NBA and FIBA announced their plan to launch the Basketball Africa League (https://on.NBA.com/2CtYv7d), a new professional league featuring 12 club teams from across Africa scheduled to begin play next year.

Fans can find more NBA information on Facebook (NBA Africa) and Twitter (@NBA_Africa). Fans can also download the NBA App, the official app of the NBA, for news and updates, scores, stats, schedules, videos and more.

Gov. Dickson Classics: Bose Reclaims National Title As Nnalue, Udeh Shine in Greco Roman

Ondo State’s Bose Samuel reclaimed her national title in emphatic fashion on Thursday at the ongoing 3rd Gov. Dickson National Wrestling Classics in Yenagoa.

In the final of the Women’s 53kg, the 2018 African champion, who was dethroned by Rosemary Nweke at the National Sports Festival last December in Abuja, outclassed Ozioma Joseph from Delta State 10-0 via technical superiority to claim the gold medal on offer before a cheering crowd that had Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson, who was represented by the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Tonye Isenah.

“I am very happy. Firstly, I thank God Almighty for what He has done in my life. I am very happy for winning the gold medal,” Bose said.

Regarding her preparation she added: “I prepared very well because at the National Sports Festival I won bronze medal. So, I was not happy at all, I had to go back home to go and prepare for this competition.”

In the two Freestyle finals decided on Thursday, Victor Firstman of Delta State overcame Stephen Akintene from Purity Club 6-4 in the 61kg class in a keenly contested finale, while Daufa Robert of Bayelsa State beat Omega Bassey of Oyo State to clinch gold in the 92kg category.

Meanwhile, in the Greco Roman events, Nnalue Dominic of Team Delta impressively took out Akiniwesi Boluwaji of Ondo State 11-0 via technical superiority in the 55kg weight class. And in the final of the 87kg category, Tobechukwu Udeh of Nigeria Army dismantled Emmanuel Duk of Cross River State 17-7 to claim his second national title.

Bose Samuel

“The Nigeria Army tried for us in getting us prepare for this competition,” Udeh said after his victory.

He also disclosed that he had a tougher challenge in the earlier rounds than in the final.

“It was not the fight that I thought will give me problem. My first fight was more difficult. But anyways, it came easy like that.

I thank God for this final, it ended 17-7.”

Following their victories, Bose, Daufa, Firstman, Udeh and Nnalue have all qualified to represent Nigeria at the 12th All-African Games in Rabat, Morocco in August.

Argentina National Team captain Bruno Motroni elected to WBSC Softball Division Board and Athletes Commission

The president of the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC), Riccardo Fraccari, today announced the welcoming of a new male athlete representative on the WBSC Softball Division Board and the WBSC Athletes Commission.

Bruno Motroni, the captain of the recently crowned world champion Argentina National Softball Team, was elected by his peers at the recent 2019 WBSC Men’s Softball World Championship in the Czech Republic, receiving 53.92% of the votes cast. Mortoni will serve alongside previously elected female softball player Erika Polidori on the highest Softball body within the WBSC.

“Welcome Mr. Motroni,” said WBSC President Fraccari. “WBSC is delighted to have such a world-class athlete and world champion on our decision-making body. His input, together with the recommendations of the WBSC Athletes Commission, will be a major asset to shaping our global sport and our World Cups into the future.”

Motroni joins Justin Huber (AUS), Maria Soto (VEN) Erika Polidori (CAN), Pauline Prade (FRA) and Ashely Stephenson (CAN) on the WBSC Athletes Commission.

All 272 participating athletes in the WBSC Men’s Softball World Championship 2019 were eligible to vote, with a turnout of 79% of the athletes casting a vote.

Official Results:
Nick Shailes – AUS: 62 votes 28.57%
Bruno Motroni – ARG: 117 votes 53.92%
Tidima Kekana – RSA: 35 votes 16.13%

The electoral process and vote in the Czech Republic was supervised by WBSC Athletes Commission Co-Chair Maria Soto, who sits on the WBSC Executive Board and was the Athletes Representative observer at the Men’s Softball World Championship 2019.

Soto said: “Being a leader on and of the diamond, Bruno Motroni played a key role in bringing his national team its historic first-ever world title. He will add a great perspective and voice to the Athletes Commission and world governing body.”

The next vote will be conducted at the II WBSC Premier12 this November, where the male athlete representative for baseball will be elected.

AIBA Extraordinary Congress, To Elect New President To hold In November – Umar Kremlev

The Secretary General of the Russian Boxing Federation, EUBC First Vice President, AIBA Executive Committee member Umar Kremlev as commented on the decisions of the AIBA Extraordinary Executive Committee, which was held in Geneva on Thursday.

The Executive Committee of the International Boxing Association (AIBA) voted to annul the article of the AIBA bylaw, according to which Gafur Rakhimov could return to the presidency of the organisation. The initiative was supported by 13 members, one against, eight abstained.

AIBA Executive Committee voted to hold an Extraordinary Congress, at which the new AIBA leadership will be elected. It will be held on November 15, 2019, in Lausanne, Switzerland. The decision was taken unanimously.

“Today we have united and made serious decisions, got rid of the man who deceived the entire boxing community, saying that he would pay off all debts and find a common language with the IOC. He brought AIBA to the risk of bankruptcy”.

“He should apologise to the entire boxing community. Today we removed the article 16.3 of the bylaw so that he could not return, and we voted for the Congress, which will take place on November, 15 and on which we will elect the new AIBA leadership”.

Volodimyr Prodivus and I also announced a vote of non-confidence for the AIBA Interim President Mohamed Moustahsane and the chairman of the Ethics Committee Jost Schmid, as he is a supporter of the former leadership.

A commission was organised to discuss the restoration of AIBA with the IOC under the leadership of Giorgio Brugnoli, as well as a commission to prepare for the Congress headed by Volodimyr Prodivus from Ukraine. The financial commission was headed by Di Wu from China.

I wanted to say a big thank you to all members of the AIBA Executive Committee for the demonstrated unity Umar Kremlev Concluded.