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Obiri, Lokedi to clash in explosive New York Marathon field

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Reigning champion Sharon Lokedi will clash with Boston Marathon champion in what is expected to be an explosive field at this year’s New York Marathon, penciled for November 5.

The hugely talented and explosive field also includes 2021 New York winner Peres Jepchirchir as well as world record holder Brigid Kosgei.

This is the first time ever in New York Marathon history that a Boston Marathon champion, Olympic champion, and world-record holder line up against each other in the same field.

Since winning in New York last year on her debut over the distance, Lokedi has not competed as much as she would have wished and pulled out of this year’s Boston Marathon due to injury.

But with a fully fit frame and an ambition to show that her victory last year was no fluke, the USA-based Kenyan will be going all out in her title defense.

In preparation for the marathon, Lokedi had raced the United Airlines NYC Half and the Mastercard New York Mini 10K, finishing fourth and second, respectively.

“Last year, I came into the New York City Marathon with the goal of being in the thick of the race, and the result was better than I could have ever hoped for. This year, I’m returning with a different mindset, hungry to defend my title and race against the fastest women in the world,” Lokedi said speaking to race organizers, New York Road Racing (NYRR).

She will come into a full contest, with Obiri, fresh from winning her first ever marathon in Boston in her second appearance at the race, looking to stamp her authority.

Obiri, winner of multiple titles on track, showed that she is slowly mastering the 42km distance with an imperious performance on the streets of Boston.

In her third race over the grueling distance, Obiri, who has moved most of her training to the USA, believes she is more experienced and will perform even better, with an eye on setting a new personal best.

“With a year of marathon experience now under my belt, a win in Boston, and my move to the U.S., I’m coming to New York this year with more confidence and in search of a title. I’m excited to show the people of New York what I’m capable of and that my win at the United Airlines NYC Half in March was just the beginning,” she said.

Competition will be aplenty with Peres also keen to have a stake at the cake. She is the only athlete to have won the Olympics, New York City Marathon, and Boston Marathon. She is also a two-time world championships gold medalist in the half marathon.

She missed the race last year due to injury, but has maintained her hunger and will be all out to try and get her title back.

“New York is an important step in defending my Olympic gold medal next summer in Paris, and I will do my best to make my family and my country proud,” she said.

Meanwhile, world record holder Brigid will be making her New York debut.

She is not a stranger to US soil though as she broke Paula Radcliffe’s 16-year-old world record by 81 seconds, running 2:14:04 to win the Chicago Marathon in 2019. It was her second Chicago Marathon victory, as she’d also won in 2018.

“I am very excited to make my New York City debut, and attempt to win my fourth different Major. I am not worried about the course, as I have had success in hilly marathons before, but New York has always been about head-to-head competition, and I know I must be in the best possible shape to compete with the other women in the race,” Kosgei said.

She has also battled through injury over the last two seasons, but she believes she is in perfect condition to battle for victory.

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Nigerian League

Sporting Lagos to appoint Biffo as new head coach

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Sporting Lagos are set to appoint Abdullahi Biffo as their new head coach. Biffo will take charge from Paul Offor who was sacked on Wednesday night.

Sporting Lagos are set to appoint Abdullahi Biffo as their new head coach.

Biffo will take charge from Paul Offor who was sacked on Wednesday night.

The experienced tactician has managed a number of top sides in the Nigeria Premier Football League.

He once managed Kwara United, Katsina United and Niger Tornadoes in the top-flight.

The gaffer is expected to help improve the fortune of the modest side.

Sporting Lagos have moved to 11th position on the table following an improved performance in the second half of the season.

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Nigerian League

Sporting Lagos sack head coach Paul Offor

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Nigeria Premier Football League side, Sporting Lagos have parted ways with head coach Paul Offor. Offor was sacked

Nigeria Premier Football League side, Sporting Lagos have parted ways with head coach Paul Offor.

Offor was sacked following his side’s struggles in the NPFL.

The tactician’s departure was confirmed on the club’s X handle.

The statement reads “Sporting Lagos announces the departure of head Coach Paul Offor,”

“Coach Paul brought top-flight football back to our city and gave us the first piece of silverware in our history.

“Thank you for everything, coach Paul. We wish you the very best in your future endeavours.”

Sporting Lagos have penciled down former Kwara United coach Abdullahi Biffo as his possible replacement.

They occupy 11th position on the NPFL table with 38 points.

Sporting Lagos have recorded 10 wins, eight draws and 12 defeats in the current campaign.

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Saviour relishes Rangers’ derby victory over Abia Warriors

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Rangers midfielder Isaac Saviour has expressed his excitement after scoring in the club’s oriental derby win against Abia Warriors.

Rangers midfielder Isaac Saviour has expressed his excitement after scoring in the club’s oriental derby win against Abia Warriors.

Saviour opened scoring for the Flying Antelopes in their 3-2 win at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium on Tuesday.

Kazeem Ogunleye and Chidozie Okorie were also on target for Rangers.

He revealed his plans to maintain his impressive performance for Rangers in subsequent games.

Saviour has netted three times in this campaign.

“I feel very excited,” he stated to the club’s media.

“I think that for some time I was out injured and coming back and got a chance to start a game and score against Katsina, I had it in mind that I had to continue scoring if at all, I wanted to make an instant impact in my team.

“I am very happy scoring against Abia Warriors after scoring in Katsina and I hope it goes on like that.

“It is always a joy to be selected as the man of the match and I feel excited and hopefully, more will come.”

Saviour will hope to add to his goal tally when Rangers battle Rivers United in their next league match this weekend.

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