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Jepchirchir Clinches Gold as Kenya Sweep the Podium in Women’s Half Marathon at World Road Running Champs

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Olympic champion Peres Jepchir showed a character of a champion when she sprinted to victory a in women’s half marathon to lead a Kenyan podium sweep at World Road Running Championships in Latvia, Riga.

Jepchirchir clocked a course record of 1:07:25 to beat compatriot Margaret Chelimo who clinched silver in 1:07:26 while Catherine Reline took bronze in 1:07:34.

“I wanted to win three times and make history, and thank God I have made it,” said Jepchirchir. “It was my birthday this week and I told my husband I would work extra hard to get the win.”

Jepchirchir led Kenya to a decisive victory in the team title, their first since 2016, when they also swept the medal positions. Their top three had a cumulative time of 3:22:25, with Ethiopia second with 3:27:55 and Great Britain and Northern Ireland claiming bronze with 3:29:15.

“I am so happy for team Kenya,” said Jepchirchir. “I knew we would sweep this as a team because I trust my colleagues so much.”

On a cool, sunny afternoon in the Latvian capital, Jepchirchir once again played a very patient game, the Olympic marathon champion and women-only half marathon world record holder content to let the pace remain steady through much of the race, knowing she possessed a gear no one else could live with when it counted most.

The early pace was relatively pedestrian, with a group of 22 hitting the 5km mark clustered together, led by Britain’s Samantha Harrison in 16:25. But that pack began to whittle soon after, with a group of eight passing 10km in 32:19.

Jepchirchir, Chelimo Kipkemboi and Reline Amanang’ole took turns at the front soon after, with British duo Harrison and Calli Thackery also putting in a shift in the breezy conditions. But in the third quarter, Harrison and Thackery began to lose contention while the Kenyans started to apply pressure up front, Amanang’ole passing 15km in 48:33 and six athletes left in the battle for the podium positions.

That was soon down to five, with Ethiopia’s Ftaw Zeray dropping away. Jepchirchir ran at the back of the pack as they approached 20km, marking her opponents’ every move. But as they ran through the old town and back towards the finish, alongside the River Daugava, Jepchirchir began to take closer order, with just one Ethiopian, Tsigie Gebreselama, sandwiched among the four Kenyans.

The 20km mark, reached in 1:04:20, was Jepchirchir’s cue to make her first big effort, surging to the front and quickly checking the effect on her rivals, with only her compatriot Irine Jepchumba Kimais dropping away. But with Kipkemboi soon taking up the pace, the Kenyans swiftly had what they wanted – with Gebreselama dropping off the leading trio.

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Nigeria Premier League

Eyimba FC International on expansionist mission- Ekwueme

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Nigerian professional football league and continental soccer record holders, Eyimba football club fc of Aba has commenced the

Nigerian professional football league and continental soccer record holders, Eyimba football club fc of Aba has commenced the implementation of an expansionist idea that would spread the club franchise, further past its current torrents, the club Sporting Director, ex intetnational , Ifeanyi Ekwueme has disclosed.

Ekwueme speaking in Kano last Tuesday,.further revealed that the club management under the pilot of Atlanta 96, Olympics football gold medalist, Kanu Nwankwo has embarked on the implementation of a newly designed development template that would stampede the influence of the club franchise on Nigerian, African and international football climes.

He said, Eyimba fc is a trademark that has excelled over time, Kanu Nwankwo regime currently at the helms of affairs at the club is building on the heroic achievements of the club by resorting to building bridges across Nigeria and beyond.

Ekwueme said ” we have signed partnership that involves exchange programmes, we are committed to coaches development mini and major projects

He further said ” we now have the requisite development structures, with our now in place youth football and semi professional talent development programmes , this is vital and critical.

” Eyimba is not a stagnant or zero football brand, we are a broad football brand, that is why, we are committed to partnerships that are results oriented and have them spread across Nigeria and extend same to the continent and beyond.

He averred that though there are challenges, the current leadership of the club is focused and committed towards surmounting the hurdles and posed to take the club to the zenith of club side football, where Eyimba fc is rightly believed to belong to.

Ekwueme appealed to the fans and their partners to keep faith with the Eyimba fc brand , stating that the club has witnessed enviable improvements in the area of football coorporate administration that he said is now yielding dividends and would continue to help the Aba football warlords to improve in the delivery of mandated club football services and business divdends expected by all stakeholders.

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Nigeria Premier League

Lagos State FA Congratulates Madiba, Inter Lagos, Ikorodu City, On NNL Play-offs Tickets

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The Lagos State Football Association ably led by Hajji Gafar Liameed, has congratulated the trio of Lagos State based football clubs, Madiba

The Lagos State Football Association ably led by Hajji Gafar Liameed, has congratulated the trio of Lagos State based football clubs, Madiba FC, Inter Lagos and Ikorodu City, for qualifying for the NNL Super 8 payoffs.

In the press statement, Hajji Gafar Liameed described the qualification of the teams, as remarkable and very commendable.

“Lagos State Football Association, the stakeholders and indeed, all lovers of the game are very happy over the feats of these teams, and of course, what it portends for the development of the game in Lagos State.

“As we earnestly look forward to big time and top level football matches in Lagos State in the next season, Lagos FA, shall continue to give technical and every other necessary supports to all clubs, for the benefits of game in the state.”

The board of the Lagos State Football Association, also expresses its profound appreciation to the Lagos State Government and its agencies, including the Lagos State Sports Commission, for providing the enabling environment for social activities and particularly, football to thrive in the state.

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Nigeria Premier League

Stormers FC will return to NNL soonest, Olopade Assures

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The Chairman / proprietor of Stormers Sports Club of Abeokuta, Chief Bukola Olopade, has promised that with proper restructuring, planning and complete dedication of the players and coaches of the team, the relegated Nigeria National League club will return to the professional league cadre, sooner than expected.

Stormers SC, at the end of the concluded NNL 2023/2024 season were relegated to the lower Nationwide League after ammassing a meagre 24 points in 22 matches in the Group A of the NNL.

The team’s below par NNL outing only saw them winning 7 matches, lost 12 and drew three games, only good enough for the bottom third position in a league of 12 teams.

Stormers SC scored 16 and conceded 10 goals, a performance not good enough to keep the team in the professional league, when compared with the NNL Group A Champions, Madiba FC, that finished with 40 points with the same number of matches in the league, won 18 games, lost 6 and drew 6.

Olopade, a former Commissioner of Youth and Sports in Ogun State, stated that, by all standards, Stormers SC’s performance was not befitting enough and he doesn’t have any option than to make positive changes in the team that would lead them to greatness.

Olopade said on Monday in his office in Lagos that: “The relegation of Stormers SC from the professional NNL to the amateur Nationwide, is failure on the part of the technical crew and the players.”

He noted that, with the new plan for the club ahead of the 2024/2025 campaign, he would ensure Stormers Sports Club return to the NNL sooner than anyone expects. Adding that :”The goal of the team is to get promoted back to the NNL and in record time step up to the premier league and play prominently in the Nigeria Professional Football League. I believe strongly this is possible with hard work and investment in young players who will believe their future is in the team.”

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