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Rhasidat Adeleke hoping to sparkle on Diamond League debut in Monaco



Irish sprinter Rhasidat Adeleke is making her presence felt on the world stage after deciding to forego a final year at the University of Texas to earn a living in athletics.

The Tallaght sprinter debuted at the Gyulai Istvan Meeting in Hungary on Tuesday evening finishing second to Jamaica’s Shericka Jackson in a World and Olympic qualifying time of 22.36 seconds.

She lines up again on Friday evening in the 400m at the Diamond League in Monaco.

Adeleke confirmed earlier this week that she will not be completing her final year at the University of Texas in Austin in order to take up a professional running contract in advance of next year’s Paris Olympics.

She posted a notice on social media that she was turning professional to pursue a career in the sport and paid tribute to all that had been done for her by the university of Austin.

“A once in a lifetime experience, thank you Texas,” she posted.

“I’m extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to represent the University of Texas these past three years. I couldn’t have made a better decision! I’d like to thank absolutely everyone who supported me along the way and those that helped me become who I am today.

“However, I’d like to announce that I am forgoing the remainder of my eligibility and becoming a professional athlete.”

‘Turning professional’ is not a term we are familiar with in Europe where many athletes pursue an athletics career and further their education at the same time. However, the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) in the USA forbids athletes receiving any monetary reward in terms of prize-money, shoe sponsorship, even items that can be converted to money.

Had Adeleke stayed within the terms of her athletics scholarship, she would have lost out financially on any shoe contract, appearance money or sponsorship she gained this summer.

At only 20 and current NCAA 400m champion, she is very marketable from an athletics point of view.

She can consequently demand handsome starting money at meetings all across Europe in next two months and will be rewarded financially should she win a medal at the World Championships in Hungary next month.

While she cannot compete for the University of Texas again, it is likely that a place will be found for her on the coaching team in Austin to enable her to continue training there.

This would seem to be borne out by the fact that Edrick Floreal will continue to coach her.

“If the time is right for her to go and make a living out of this, I’ve already told her she can stay at Texas as long as she wants, and I’ll coach her,” he said recently.

Adeleke will experience life in the fast lane on Friday evening as she faces, among others, the number one in the world this year Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone who won the American title for the distance two weeks ago in 48.74 seconds.

Adeleke is second fastest of the field on paper with her Irish record 49.20 while there are five other women in the race who have bettered 50 seconds. Ciara Mageean also competes in the mile in Monaco.

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Jos, Plateau Comes Alive As NNL AGA Holds This Friday




All is set for the Annual General Meeting of the Nigeria National League which is scheduled to hold in the capital city of Plateau state.

Already, stakeholders have started arriving the Tin City for the one-day deliberation.

The AGA which is the first activity of the season will see the NNL board meet with the 40 club representatives to fashion our all formalities for a successful season.

Kickoff date, format, funding and other matters of critical importance will be decided at the assembly.

NNL Chairman George Aluo who is already on the ground, gave further insight on the agenda.

“At the NNL AGA we will be rubbing minds with the club owners, share our thoughts and plans with them and be on the same page and decide when the league will start basically, as that is the most important thing so that after the AGA in Jos, we should be able to tell Nigerians when the league will kickoff.”

He continued, “The President of the NFF Alhaji Ibrahim Gusau has given us a mandate to start the league on time and ensure it aligns with the international calendar and that is the direction we want to go. So we have come up with our own plans and by the time we finish with our AGA in Jos, we’ll tell Nigerians what the plans are and how the league will be played.

He revealed that the board ” has put some plans in place as the NNL has been able to partner with the National Institute for Sports (NIS) for a pre-season capacity building seminar for our coaches. We want to upscale our coaches to make them better. Already, we have invited some resource persons from the NIS and the Technical Director of the NFF Augustine Eguavoen who will be involved in that and a Portuguese coach Thiago Conde so, at the end of the day, we would have upscale our coaches technically and before the start of the season by the time you’ve taken them to the classroom, I’m sure it will rub-off on the NNLas the 2023-2023 season gets underway.”

He appreciated the Plateau state Government for hosting the board as they begin deliberation this Friday.

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Colombia 2024: Falconets progress to third round as Mauritius withdraw




The Mauritius Football Association has notified the Confederation of African Football of the withdrawal of the country’s U20 Women National Team from the ongoing African qualifying series for next year’s FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup finals.

“Kindly note that CAF was informed of the withdrawal of Mauritius FA from the African qualifiers of FIFA U20 WWC 2024. Consequently, Nigeria is qualified to the next round of the competition and the missions of all officials of matches 37 & 38 are cancelled,” read a communication from CAF to the Nigeria Football Federation.

The Falconets were to fly to Mauritius next week for the first leg in Saint Pierre against the Mauritius U20 girls, with the return leg scheduled for the MKO Abiola National Stadium, Abuja on Saturday, 14th October.

With this situation, 2022 World Cup quarter-finalists Nigeria now progress to the next round of the qualification series.

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Confed Cup: Insurance players vow to beat RS Berkane for their chief motivator, Obaseki




As Federation Cup champion, Bendel Insurance of Benin plays RS Berkane on Friday in a Caf Confederation Cup match, the players and officials said they are ready to shed blood to win for the good people and government of Edo State especially their number one supporter and motivator Governor Godwin Obaseki.

Though Insurance has a mountain to climb in the decisive leg in Morocco after they were forced to a 2-2 draw by RS Berkane at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin, in the first leg on Saturday, September 16, they are confident that will beat their host and qualify for the next round of the competition.

Monday Odigie’s side will miss the services of striker Osarenkhoe Imade, who scored their opener in the first leg as well as their other goal in the last round.

The 22-year-old just penned a deal with United Arab Emirates side, United FC.

Despite missing their highest goal scorer from last season, stand-in captain and goalkeeper, Amas Obasigie, echoed the confidence of the team.

“Knowing the honour that awaits us if we beat our opponents to qualify for the group stage, we are going to fight for everything in the field of play to go home happy. We made two mistakes in Benin and will not want a repeat. We are facing very strong opponents who have been champions twice in a space of three years, but we will not allow their intimidation to affect our play. They should expect a good fight from us the way they also fought in Benin.

“Above all, we want to fight to win for our state Governor, who has been wonderful in giving his all, in sponsorship and motivation that has taken us thus far both in the domestic league and continental level,” Obasogie said.

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