…as Ukoro grabs surprise gold in Greco Roman
The President of the Nigeria Wrestling Federation Daniel Igali has said the ongoing Africa Wrestling Championship has helped the country to identify hidden talents in the sport. Igali said the cadet and junior wrestlers groomed in three national camps have afforded the country to have a pool of wrestlers for the future.
The Olympic gold medallist was speaking at the opening ceremony of the AWC on Wednesday in Port Harcourt. He commended Governor Nyesom Wike for helping in the preparation of the Nigerian athletes for the continental event.
A total of 90 wrestlers will represent the country in the continental competition which is coming to Nigeria for the first time in 42 years. Igali said: “We are happy we have young ones who can always be called upon. The talents are there but we do not have enough competitions to look at them. “Gov Wike has really helped us and I am happy that of the 180 athletes in camp, we have people who can take over from the senior ones in future.” Wike assured that the government of Rivers State would create the enabling environment for all the wrestlers from 35 countries and other participants to enjoy the Garden City.
Minister of sports Solomon Dalung urged the country’s representatives to be good ambassadors of Nigeria at the championship. In some of the events decided, Peter Ukoro handed Nigeria a surprise gold medal in the 55kg Greco- Roman event for cadet wrestlers on Day 1 of the competition. The youngster from Bauchi State defeated Omar Adel Abdelaziz of Egypt 4-0 in the final.
“I feel very glad and happy about it,” he said, after his victory. “It was awesome but enjoyable because Greco-Roman is enjoyable to me. “I am glad and by the grace of God, I know I can be the best.” Lu Shawn Leonico KOK of South Africa settled for bronze after overcoming Namibia’s Linus KATUJANDA, 4-0.
In the 60kg weight class, Ikechukwu Robinson of Team Nigeria won bronze after subduing Tunisia’s Medhi Dheker, 8-0 while Ahmed Merikhi of Algeria won gold in that class by beating Zeyad Emadeldin Helmi Yakout of Egypt, 8-3. The competition continues today (Friday) at the Alfred Diete Spiff Sports Complex, Port Harcourt.
Taribo West: Eagles’ character vital in Russia
Ex-international, Taribo West, has stated that the character of the Super Eagles will help them to excel at the World Cup in Russia. Speaking with our correspondent, West said the team’s strength was based on their collectiveness and that would make them difficult to beat in Russia.
“The good thing about this set of Eagles is that they play on their strength and that is the level of fitness and teamwork,” he said. “When you play a team that has no standout player but all playing for each other, they play as a unit, with strong stamina, they will not just surprise the people in their group but also everyone at the tournament. “In the past, we looked up to one or two players to make the difference in a difficult situation, but when you expect a player like Victor Moses, another like Alex Iwobi will turn up.
At times it will be the defender and that is the true strength of this team.” He also said the decision of the Nigeria Football Federation to honour exinternationals in a recent award ceremony, Aiteo/ NFF Awards, was a good initiative. According to him, all those who have been holding grudges against the team and the federation in the past would have forgiven them after the NFF honoured them. He also applauded the NFF for the preparation given to the team and all the other friendly games lined up to takeplace in the coming days.
He added: “The grudges and the pains have been released and the blessings that follow reconciliation will follow for the team and the federation. The performance will be awesome at the World Cup. “For how far the NFF, have gone, it has been fantastic and the plans also good enough for the team. If you look at the numbers of friendly games, I will say I am satisfied.”
Akwa Utd thank Udom, Nigerians for support
The Management of Akwa United FC have expressed appreciation to Nigerians for their prayers and supports which they said helped a great deal in their qualification to the First Round of the CAF Confederation Cup competition on Wednesday in Banjul.
Speaking after the team’s victory against Hawks FC in Banjul, Chairman of the club, Elder Paul Bassey, expressed gratitude, first to God and to Nigerians for standing by the team despite the first leg lost in Uyo. Bassey was particularly grateful to Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State for his massive support and trust in the team even during the most difficult times.
“When we received the good news that Plateau United and MFMFC had qualified, we knew that we had to win and we reacted positively by keeping the Nigerian flag flying on the continent. “The level of support we received from Nigerians before the game was awesome and we thank the Almighty God who made it possible,” Bassey said.
Rohr considers Martins for World Cup
Obafemi Martins looks set to gate crash the Super Eagles final squad to the World Cup in Russia after he scored a goal and provided an assist for Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua to draw 2-2 with Sydney FC of Australia in the Asia Champions League. Martins opened scoring after 26 minutes, before he assisted for his team’s second goal.
The nippy striker has been firing goals in the Chinese Super League. Sources have said he had now in serious contention for a place on the Super Eagles World Cup squad as coach Gernot Rohr is shopping for a proven goal scorer. ‘Oba-goal’ has scored goals in Italy, Spain, England, Russia and in the Major League Soccer League (MLS) in the United States of America.
National news15 hours ago
Benue killings: Soldiers providing cover for armed Fulani herdsmen – Tiv leaders
News17 hours ago
BREAKING: Jonathan, IBB absent as Buhari meets Obasanjo, others in Aso Rock
Top Stories12 hours ago
Tinubu blasts APC chairman John Oyegun
News Around Nigeria16 hours ago
Finally, Fayose meets Buhari (PHOTO)
News Around Nigeria14 hours ago
Prince Kazeem Eletu washes hands off crimes as he launches foundation on 40th birthday
Education12 hours ago
2018 UTME: Candidates protest exam date, seek postponement
Columnists20 hours ago
Health benefits of cucumber (3)
News Around Nigeria20 hours ago
We will not condone Cattle Rustling in Kogi – Government