Activities marking the 41ST edition of the Central Bank of Nigeria Senior Tennis tournament have commenced at the National Stadium Abuja and will run till Saturday June 29, 2019.
Director, Corporate Communications Department, Central Bank of Nigeria, Isaac Okorafor,who revealed this during the championship unveiling to the media, said, the CBN Senior Tennis tournament was held in Abuja for the first in 2018 to commemorate the 40th anniversary edition of the championship and that the success recorded has prompted the management of the apex bank into making a return by approving the staging of the 2019 edition of the tourney at the FCT.
Okorafor, who reaffirmed the objective of the annual CBN hard court Senior Tennis Championship which is to discover talents that could represent Nigeria at major international competitions, be it the Olympics Games, Commonwealth Games, All Africa Games and even world championships among others, said this year’s edition is not going to be anything diferent.
Adding that the tournament would also help to better the global ranking of Nigeria players with the international Tennis Federation and as well create channel for the development of Sports in the domestic front among the youth and the physically challenged in our society.
According to him, “those who have played in the tournament in the past have gone ahead to represent Nigeria at various international championships where they competed favourably with the rest of world and we hope that in no distant time, products of the CBN Tennis would surpass the ranking of theur predecessors like Nduka Odizor who reached his highest ATP rankings in June, 1984 when he was ranked 52 in the world.”
He reiterated the CBN’s commitment to continue to invest in Nigerian youth through sports which is part of the apex bank’s social responsibilities as could be seen from the CBN Junior Tennis championship held last month at the Tarawa Balewa Square, Race Course Lagos which featured U-10 to 18 boys and girls categories.
For the 2019 CBN Senior Tennis, action will be in men’s and women’s singles, men’s and women’s doubles and the wheelchair categories.
The men’s and women singles events would be drawn in round 64 chat format while the men’s and women’s doubles would observe round 32 chat actions.
Winners of both the men and women singles events will cart home the Sum of #700,000 each in addition to the giant trophies.
CAF Champions League: Rutless Enyimba advance
Kano Pillars, Tornadoes out of CAF competitions
igeria Professional Football League champions, Enyimba of Aba, on Sunday progressed to the next round of the CAF Champions League after defeating Rahimo FC of Burkina Faso 5-0 to overturn a 1-0 first leg defeat.
Reuben Bala and Stanley Dimgba got a brace each while substitute Stanley Okorom scored the fifth goal.
With the game played behind close doors, the record NPFL winners with eight titles took the lead through Bala in the 32nd minute of the game.
Okorom scored the second goal in the 46th minute while Dimgba scored the first of his brace in the 77th minute.
Bala and Dimgba completed their brace in the 82nd and 89th minute respectively to hand Enyimba a handsome victory.
They are now through to the first round of the CAF Champions League in style, but fellow Nigerian flag bearers Kano Pillars failed to go past the hurdle after losing 2-0 to Asante Kotoko of Ghana.
The AITEO Cup winners and NPFL runners-up went to Ghana with a slim 3-2 victory but fell behind as early as the third minute.
They however conceded the second goal in the second half as they exited the Champions League 4-3 on aggregate.
In a release signed by the Media Officer of Kano Pillars, Idris Malikawa, the club expressed their regret at losing out on the continent.
“We as a team are saying sorry to our teeming supporters, good people of Kano State and Nigeria at large.
“The management of the club also thanked government of Kano State and all the stakeholders that assisted us in one way or the other to be in the championship.”
On Saturday, Niger Tornadoes exited the CAF Confederation Cup in Guinea, leaving only Enyimba and Rangers remaining on the continent.
Kwara boxing boss lauds GOtv Boxing NextGen Search
hairman, Kwara State Amateur Boxing Association, Mr. Ahmed Musa, has tipped the GOtv Boxing NexGen Search programme to revive boxing in the country and re-establish the might of Kwara State in the sport.
Speaking in a phone chat, Musa said the decision of the organisers to choose Ilorin as the host city for GOtv Boxing NextGen Search 5 is one everybody associated with boxing in the state had been hoping for because the sport enjoys huge followership in the state. He explained that the state has produced great boxers such as Ray Amao, Joe Lasisi and the late Hogan Jimoh, who did the country proud.
According to him, young boxers from across the state have been registering for the programme, a situation that has compelled his association to start photocopying forms after the forms made available got exhausted.
“We have always wanted the GOtv Boxing NextGen Search to be held in Kwara State, which has a rich history of producing boxers,” he said.
“We have seen Ibadan and Abeokuta host it and we are happy that it is about to be staged in Ilorin. The response from young boxers has been astonishing. We have had to photocopy forms.”
GOtv Boxing NextGen Search 5 will hold at the Kwara State Stadium Complex, Ilorin, on August 29 and 30. The programme aims to discover male and female boxers between the ages of 18 and 25, who are ready to turn professional.
Participating boxers will take part in sparring sessions conducted by prominent boxing coaches, who will select those considered adequate to move into the professional cadre.
US Open: Djokovic, Federer headline Day 1
orld No. 1 Novak Djokovic and five-time champion Roger Federer open their campaigns at the US Open on Monday, as the final Grand Slam event of the season begins in Flushing Meadows.
Defending champion Djokovic will be aiming to earn his 70th victory at the hard-court Grand Slam (69-10), where he has lifted the trophy on three occasions. Last year, the Serbian defeated Juan Martin del Potro in the championship match to add to titles in 2011 and 2015 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
Djokovic is bidding to become the first man since Roger Federer in 2008 to win back-to-back titles at this event. The 32-year-old will meet Roberto Carballes Baena of Spain for the first time in the opening round, where he will be aiming to extend his unbeaten record in first-round clashes at the US Open to 14 matches.
Federer arrives in New York searching for his first title at the event since 2008. The third seed will meet Sumit Nagal under the lights on Arthur Ashe Stadium, as he aims to secure his 40th victory of the season (39-6).
A win for Federer would set up his 100th match at the event. The Swiss currently holds an 85-13 record at the hard-court Grand Slam event.
Former champion Stan Wawrinka will face #NextGenATP talent Jannik Sinner in the opening night session match on Louis Armstrong Stadium. The 2016 winner, who became the oldest champion at the event since Ken Rosewall in 1970, will hope to improve his 12-1 record in first-round clashes at this event. Seventh seed and 2014 runner-up Kei Nishikori also begins his title bid against Marco Trungelliti on Grandstand.
African Games: Badminton gives Team Nigeria second gold
…as Basketball, weightlifting secure three medals
Team Nigeria secured their second gold medal of the 2019 African Games in Rabat, Morocco after the badminton team defeated Algeria in the final of the mixed team event on Sunday.
Joseph Abah, Peace Oji, Juwon Opeyori, Ajoke Adesokan, Ebiowo Krobakpo and Deborah Ukeh all combined to beat Algeria 3-0 in the final after eliminating Egypt in the semi-finals earlier in the day with the same score line.
With the weighlifting event starting on Sunday, two Nigerians were on the podium after winning silver and bronze medals in the women’s 45kg and 49kg respectively.
Stella Peter won the silver behind Madagascar’s Randafiarison Rosina with Ghana getting the bronze medal through Winnifred Ntumi.
Nkem Nwaokolo lost the silver with just one point as she could only lift 161kg compared to Egypt’s Heba Ahmed who lifted 162kg for the silver medal in the Women’s 49kg. Mauritius’ Marie Ranaivosoa lifted 169kg to win gold medal.
Team Nigeria also won bronze in the women’s 3×3 basketball event, defeating Mali 21-20 points in the third-place match.
In table tennis, Bode Abiodun and Offiong Edem lost 3-1 to Egypt in the semi-finalof the mixed doubles as Nigeria continues to look for their first gold medal in table tennis when men and women doubles begin on Monday (today).
Boxing saw Imoleayo Adebayo defeating Naffalie Shooya of Namibia 5-0 in the quarterfinal of Men’s Super Heavyweight to move to the semifinal scheduled for Monday.
The Super Falconets will be looking forward to a place in the final of the football event as they take on Algeria in the semifinal while Flying Eagles will play Mali in the men’s event on Tuesday.
Griezmann nets double as Barca beat Real Betis
ig-money summer signing Antoine Griezmann scored his first La Liga goals for Barcelona as they came from behind to beat Real Betis at the Nou Camp and secure their first win of the season.
With the injured Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez watching on from the stands, Griezmann stepped up with two strikes while Carles Perez, Jordi Alba and Arturo Vidal also scored as the La Liga champions came back from Nabil Fekir’s opener for Betis to secure a 5-2 win.
Griezmann’s first came just before half-time as he athletically steered a delightful Sergi Roberto cross into the net with his outstretched left foot, while his second on 50 minutes was a sublime curled effort from the edge of the box.
The Frenchman celebrated by taking a handful of confetti from the sidelines and throwing it into the air as he made his mark following his €120 million switch from Atletico Madrid in the summer.
Perez steered in a third for the hosts on 56 minutes – his first goal for the club – before Alba added a fourth four minutes later after collecting a Sergio Busquets pass.
Vidal then added a fifth on 77 minutes but there was still time for a 25-yard rocket from Loren to serve as a consolation for Betis.
With the win, Ernesto Valverde’s men put their opening day defeat to Athletic Bilbao behind them while they still have the boost of Suarez and Messi to return from injury.
Peak Invitational win important for our confidence – Nwora
…as NBBF banks on FG’s support
’Tigers head coach, Alex Nwora, has said the 89-86 points Peak Invitational victory on Sunday against Montenegro could never have come at a better time for the team.
Nwora who led the team to their first ever Peak Invitational title in Yangzhou which heralds the FIBA Men’s World Cup on Saturday, August 31, said ending their preparation for the World Cup with the victory was very important for the team’s confidence.
“Getting the win against Montenegro who on paper are way above Nigeria is a good step in the right direction. It shows that weeks of training have continued to yield the desired results for us as a team,” the coach said.
The experienced coach who will be making his World Cup debut alongside all the players left in camp believed that the team has continued to improve which may have caught the attention of their Broup B opponents.
Meanwhile, with less than six days to the FIBA Men’s World Cup in China, the Nigeria Basketball Federation is optimistic about government support for the D’Tigers team already in China.
Speaking to journalists in Abuja after the presentation of the 2019 FIBA Women’s AfroBasket trophy to the newly appointed Minister of Sports, Sunday Dare, the NBBF President Musa Kida said the boys are focused on the task ahead.
“The fact that the men have already gone to China is a very good sign that they are now confident just like I am confident as the NBBF President that we are going to get some help from government.”
Newcastle beat Spurs in Pochettino 500th match
lub record signing Joelinton’s first goal in English football gave Newcastle United a surprise win at Tottenham – and Steve Bruce his first Premier League points as their manager.
The Brazilian striker took advantage of sleepy Tottenham defending to control substitute Christian Atsu’s through pass beautifully before drilling past Hugo Lloris.
Atsu, sent on after Allan Saint-Maximin had to go off with an early hamstring injury, provided the assist with his first significant contribution.
Spurs lacked the creativity to break down a resolute Newcastle side, whose four-man midfield spent a large chunk of the contest sitting deep in front of a back five.
Son Heung-min, making his first Tottenham appearance of the season after completing a three-match suspension, saw a bouncing first-half volley beaten away by Martin Dubravka, then rolled a shot wide shortly before the interval.
Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino sent on Christian Eriksen and Giovani lo Celso for the final half-hour in an attempt to salvage something from the 500th match of his managerial career.
It almost worked: Lo Celso’s pass for Harry Kane ended with the England captain falling under Jamaal Lascelles’ challenge – but Mike Dean ruled it was not a penalty, and was backed up by the check from video assistant referee (VAR) Anthony Taylor.
Then Eriksen’s superb diagonal pass gave Moussa Sissoko the room to cross low, but Lucas Moura skied his shot over the bar from around eight yards.
Tunisia to host African Olympic Qualifying Tournament
he city of Tunis in Tunisia will host the African Olympic Qualifying Tournament for the Tokyo 2020.
Tunisia was chosen ahead of the Algeria during the 33rd Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the African Table Tennis Federation (ATTF) held in Rabat, Morocco on Saturday August 25, 2019.
13 delegated that formed the quorum at the AGM voted with Tunisia getting eight votes while Algeria got five votes to concede the hosting rights to Tunisia.
Egypt that had already secured the sole slot for team event for Africa, two of its players are expected to compete in the singles and doubles event of the Tokyo Olympic Games while the qualifying tournament in Tunisia will produce another four male and four female to complete African slots for the Games in Japan.
Nigeria narrowly lost the slot to Egypt in men and women event at the final of the 12th African Games with Egypt winning the two events at 3-2 as Omar Assar and Dina Meshref spearheading the North African triumph.
African highest ranked player, Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri will be joined by players from Tunisia, Congo Brazzaville and others at the Qualifying Tournament in Tunisia and each nation is expected to register two men and two women for the qualifying tournament.
Four men and four women will qualify to Tokyo from Tunisia.
According to the President of Tunisia Table Tennis Federation (TTTF), Lotfi Guerfel, the country has the necessary experience to stage a befitting tournament.
“We have the required experience to stage a world class tournament and the Olympic Qualifying Tournament would not be an exception. We will be hosting the Africa Top 16 Cup as well and we are ready to welcome the whole continent,” the TTTF boss said.
Madagascar is expected to host the 2020 Africa Cadet and Junior Championships while Cameroun will stage the African Senior Championships.
Dissolution of Nasarawa Utd board excites SWAN
he Nasarawa state chapter of Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) has expressed happiness with the bold steps taken so far by the governor Abdullahi A. Sule administration to reposition sports in the state.
Consequently,SWAN said it was particularly happy with the dissolution of the Barr.Isaac Danladi led board of Nasarawa United FC to pev way for appointment of profeasionals into the new baord.
SWAN in a press statement signed by it’s chairman,Cheke Emmanuel and made available to Sportswriters yesterday in Lafia,advised the goverment to appoint persons of integrity with sports background and; with passion for sports into the new board to take the club from it’s present state of inactivity to a more result-oriented and innovative one.
The release further advised government to reorganise the Nasarawa Amazons FC and recruit new players for both the two goverment -owned football clubs in the state to accommodate professional indiqent players to add value to the football clubs.
It further advised goverment to appoint a youth as Commissioner of Youth and Sports that would pay attention to youth development and grassroots sports away from over -emphasising football.
SWAN therefore, expressed it’s readiness to collaborate with the present administration in the state to take sports to the next level of development.
CAF League: Enyimba hammer Rahimo
Nigerian champions, Enyimba atoned for the elimination of Kano Pillars from the CAF Champions League by beating Burkina Faso’s Rahimo to progress in the competition.
The Nigerian champions who had to play behind close doors on account of safety concerns at their home ground overturned a 0-1 deficit to advance on 5-1 aggregate.
Reuben Bala opened the scoring in the 32nd minute after the home side had had an earlier goal cancelled.
They doubled the score line in the second half through Stanley Okorom early in the second half while Stanley Dimgba made it 3-0 in the 79th minute.
Ten minutes a later Dimgba was again on the scorers’ sheet. Bala scored in the 86th minute making the last four minutes of the game a fruitful one for Enyimba.
Enyimba now await the winners of Rayon Sports of Rwanda and Al-Hilal Omdurman of Sudan. The first-leg between the two ended 1-1 in Kigali.
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