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Nigerian League

Budapest 2023: Chukwuma laments after 100m semifinal exit



After finishing last in her 100m semifinal to exit the World Championships in Budapest on Monday evening, Nigeria’s Rosemary Chukwuma said she made a big mistake by taking off late from the block.

“My takeoff during the preliminary round on Sunday was far better,” Chukwuma told The Guardian soon after the semifinal event on Monday at the National Athletics Stadium in Budapest. “It’s so sad I couldn’t meet my target of reaching the final here in Budapest.

“I made a mistake at the starting point, and it became difficult for me to catch up with them. During the preliminary round, my take off was excellent, and was why I made it to the semifinal. In 100m race, any mistake is costly. I have learnt my lesson and this won’t repeat itself again,” she stated.

U.S.-based Chukwuma returned a time of 11.26secs to place eight in the race won by Jamaican and defending champion, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce in 10.89secs to qualify for the final.

American Tamari Davis placed second in the race in 10.98secs to also qualify for the final. Jamaican Shericka Jackson won the second semifinal in 10.79secs to also qualify for the final alongside Marie-Josee Ta Lou from Cote d’Ivoire who also returned 10.79secs to qualify for the final.

Sha’Carri Richardson showed up in style to snatch the gold medal in the 100m women’s final on Monday night as she stopped the clock in a championship record of 10.65, taking 0.02 off Fraser-

Pryce’s record set last year in Oregon. It was an iconic showdown that denied the Jamaicans the kind of golden finish they had envisaged.

In the last decade, Jamaican athletes have won four titles in six editions of the World Championships, including a medal sweep last year in Oregon. They were gunning for a fifth here in Budapest, but were stopped by the new sheriff in town – Richardson.

And as she crossed the line, pumping her right fist, this was indeed Richardson’s night—one that saw her rebound after missing the last edition of the World Championships due to less than favourable circumstances.

The evening had started with some drama as both Ewa Swoboda and Dina Asher-Smith finished third in their semifinals with identical times of 11.01.

Richardson also faced a scare, with her heat being a sort of final before ‘the final—drawn alongside the fastest woman this year, Shericka Jackson (10.65), and two-time 100m world medallist Marie-Josee Ta Lou (10.75). The 2019 NCAA champion was left in the blocks and had to fight for a ticket to the final, finishing outside the two automatic spots in third place (10.84).

Eventually, all three athletes were given the nod, heightening the anticipation and intensity of the race—nine athletes to one gold medal.

Julien Alfred was almost thrown off course too after being awarded a yellow card in the third semifinal for disturbing the start, which made her overly cautious leaving the blocks. Nevertheless, she came from behind to win in 10.92, with Brittany Brown following in 10.97.

The final line up was as intimidating as they come, stacked with four of the eight fastest women of all time. Any newcomer would have been fazed, but not the 23-year-old Richardson who rose to the occasion when it really mattered.

The Guardian

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Nigerian League

There’s a twist’ – Springbok hopeful rejects South African homecoming




Ruan Ackermann will not be returning to South Africa after signing a contract extension with Premiership club Gloucester Rugby.


The powerhouse forward’s contract was expiring at the end of the current season and looked set to return to South Africa but has instead opted to remain in the West Country.


The Sharks and his former employers, the Lions, were two of the teams that Ackerman was reportedly in talks with, but ultimately, he decided to remain at the club he joined back in 2017.

“I miss playing in South Africa, I see the stadiums are getting more and more full,” Ackermann told Afrikaans newspaper Rapport in January.


But on Thursday, Gloucester and Ackermann revealed that the player had changed his mind.


“There is a little twist, I can’t see myself leaving yet, I want to stay on, so we are staying on,” he said in an interview confirming his extension.


He added: “The players, the staff, the people, the coaches, everyone has been really good to me. It’s basically like a second home, so that’s what makes things, when it comes to a decision, so tough.”

His re-signing with the Premiership side means that he will head into his eighth season at Gloucester this year, having arrived along with his father Johan, who was head coach at the time.


The Kingsholm favourite is consistently one of the top players in the Premiership for carries and metres made and was voted Gloucester Rugby’s Players’ Player of the Season for 2021/22.


His ability to play across the back-row, and even at lock, is a huge asset for the Cherry and Whites, with director of rugby, George Skivington, hailing the club’s ability to retain his services.


“There was lots of competition for Ruan’s signature, so it’s a huge coup for the Club,” Skivington said.


“Ruan has been fantastic for us and to have a player of his quality committing his future to the Club is a massive statement of trust in the direction we are heading in.


“Everyone at Gloucester Rugby is delighted that Ruan will be in Cherry & White next season.”

International ambitions

Ackermann is qualified to represent England through residency and his potential move back to South Africa was seen as an attempt to better his chances of cracking the Springboks squad.


In fact, he was reportedly on the cusp of making the Red Rose squad before injury struck and ruled him out of the World Cup and a debut in the England jersey.


However, he still hopes to make it on the international stage.


“I just want to play at the highest level, it’s a dream of mine, but the Springboks are my first choice,” he said in an interview in January.


“I feel like I have been here [England] long enough to prove myself, and that chance or option never came. I think they have their eyes on other players.”


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Nigerian League

Sunshine Stars unveil Boboye, Oboabona




Sunshine Stars FC on Thursday in Akure unveiled former Plateau United coach Kennedy Boboye and AFCON 2013 winner Godfrey Oboabona as the team’s coach and player respectively.

The club employed the services of the former Abia Warriors and Heartland manager following the sacking of Edith Agoye, who led the team to 14th place in the ongoing Nigeria Professional Football League season.

The appointments were contained in a statement issued by Sunshine Stars media officer, Michael Akintunde.

According to the statement, other technical crew members unveiled alongside Kennedy Boboye include Kayode Julius (chief coach), Nwachukwu Ifeanyi (assistant coach) and John Gaadi (goalkeeper trainer).

Oboabona, a member of the Super Eagles that won the Africa Cup of Nations in 2013, has made a return to the team after playing for various clubs in Europe.

The statement read, “He (Oboabona) is expected to add his wealth of experience to the team as Kennedy Boboye gets set to lead the team back to winning ways.”

Boboye, in his remarks, thanked the management of the team for giving him an opportunity to serve and lead the team again, seeking the corporations of the stakeholders and promised to give his best with the support of everyone.

“I’m glad I’m back home, Sunshine Stars remain in my heart, with God and the collective support of everyone we shall succeed and achieve the desired results,” the coach stated.

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Nigerian League

NPFL Youth league finals hold in Benin




(NPFL) Youth League

Benin, the Edo State capital has been announced as the host city for the Championship finals of the inaugural edition of the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) Youth League.

The zonal qualifiers held in five centres from February 1-3 from where teams emerged for the championship finals.

Chairman of the NPFL YOUTH league Committee, Pastor Emeka Inyama, on Tuesday, confirmed that the championship finals will take place in Benin.

He also announced that the finals will be held from February 24th to March 2nd at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin.

Teams that progressed from the zonal qualifiers are Rangers International from the South East, Rivers United from South South, Remo Stars from the southwest, katsina United from North East/west and Plateau United from North Central.

“We expect the teams to arrive Benin on the 24th, and first rounds of matches will begin on February 25th,” Pastor Inyama told NPFL Media.

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