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Anuoluwapo Opeyori Wins Mutual Benefits National Badminton Champions Men’s Singles

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Anuoluwapo Opeyori of Lagos has defeated Victor Ikechukwu of Rivers State by three sets to nil, 22 – 20; 19 – 21; 21 – 17 to win the Men’s Singles Final as the feat makes it the third time won the championship since its inception.
To reach the finals, Opeyori defeated Ibrahim Ahmed of Bauchi by two straight sets of 21 – 18; 21 – 16 while Victor Ikechukwu sent out Aliyu Shehu of Niger State 21 – 10; 21 – 17 in the semi-final battle
The Finals of the Men’s Doubles saw a repeat of the Men’s Singles between Lagos and the Rivers States as Lagos emerged victorious when the pairs of Anuoluwapo Opeyori and Daniel Christopher defeated Victor Ikechukwu and Emmanuel Joseph at 14 – 21; 21 – 19; 21 – 18.
The finalists had earlier defeated
Abdullahi Bala and Mubarak Salisu (Yobe) at 21 – 19; 21 – 12 and AbdulMalik Baba Ibrahim and Yinusa Momoh (FCT) at 21 – 13; 21 – 17 in the Men’s Doubles category Semi-Finals.
In the Women’s Singles final, it was all an Edo State affairs as the runner-up of the last Edition, Ruth Ebere defeated Deborah Ukeh 21-16; 21–19 to emerge winner of the 4th edition.
Ruth Ebere edged out the former national and African champion, Adesokan Dorcas at 21 – 9; 21 – 19 semi final while Deborah Ukeh defeated Sofiat Obanisola at 21 – 9; 21 – 14 to book a place in the Finals.
In the Women’s doubles Semi-Finals, Grace Gabriel & Ramatu Yakubu(FCT) defeated Ruth Ebere & Deborah Ukeh (Edo) at 21 – 14; 21 – 19 to advance to the Finals while Sofiat Obanisola and Zainab Alabi (Rivers) defeated
Adesokan Dorcas and Ilori Aminat(Ogun) at 24 – 22; 21 – 19 to complete the train.
Grace Gabriel & Ramatu Yakubu (FCT) won the Women’s Doubles Final defeating Sofiat Obanisola & Zainab Alabi (Rivers)at 21 – 16; 23 – 21.
The Finals of the Mixed Doubles category saw the emergence of Babatunde Ayomide and Adekunle Oluwaferanmi (Kwara) as winners after defeating Usman Qudus and Tiamiyu Salawat (Oyo) at 17 – 21; 21 – 18; 22 – 20.
Babatunde Ayomide & Adekunle Oluwaferanmi (Kwara) had earlier defeated Ganiyu Suleiman (Rivers) and Sunday Queen (Imo) 13 – 21; 24 – 22; 21 – 8 to advance to the Finals while Usman Qudus and Tiamiyu Salawat (Oyo) defeated Yinusa Momoh and Ramatu Yakubu (FCT) 21 – 18; 21 – 19.
In all, the report says the spirit of oneness and friendship could be felt in the air and the players could be seen with fellow players catching up on “long” periods of absence.
Officials of the Badminton Federation of Nigeria were on the ground to see to the flawless execution of the championship.
Matches were held in the various Events with some results predictable while some just heralded the “arrival” or return of some players.

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Ministry partners Yucateco to develop boxing in Nigeria

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The Minister of Sports Development, John Enoh, has expressed the Ministry’s readiness to partner with the Yucateco boxing promotions, organizers of the Yucateco Boxing League to develop boxing in Nigeria

Enoh made this known when he received Omolei Yakubu, CEO Yucateco boxing promotions in his office in Abuja on Thursday.

The Minister said the partnership with Yucateco Boxing promotions is expected to yield a range of initiatives aimed at nurturing talents, organizing competitions, and providing necessary support structures for athletes across Nigeria.

“The cornerstone and future of our sports resides at the grassroots level thus I am excited to engage with individuals who work at the grassroots level. Our country has a glorious past in boxing, but it is gradually losing that glory. Nigerians have the innate ability to excel in any sports, including boxing,” Enoh said.

“Having won Olympic gold medals in long jump and football we should win a gold medal in boxing. Through strategic partnerships such as this with Yucateco Boxing Promotion, we aim to tap into the vast talent pool within our nation and provide avenues for aspiring boxers to excel on both national and international platforms.”

Yakubu said that the sports ministry’s desire to partner with Yucateco is a testament to the growth and work done over the years saying, “What we have done is out there for everyone to see, and I am not surprised we are getting this level of recognition at this time.

“The responsibility has become even bigger with our collaboration with the sports ministry, like I have said before, our aim is to make global stars from these ones you see today as amateur or local pugilists. Our drive to change the narrative in nigerian boxing is born out of our passion to grow the sports from the grass-roots, we are ready to put our nation on the map again.”

Season one of the Yucateco boxing league came to a close recently in Lagos with the top boxing club pocketing a whopping N20m. The star boxer of the season also went home with a brand new car.

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14th Biennial Games To Produce New Talents-Force PPRO

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The Nigeria Police Force and the Oyo State Government have reaffirmed their commitment to stage a world-class 14th biennial Police Games.
The event with the theme ‘Competing for peace, unity, stability and development of the country is slated to hold from Saturday, 24th February to next week Saturday, 2nd March 2024 in Ibadan the capital city of Oyo State.
Speaking at the press briefing held in Ibadan, the Force PPRO, ACP Muyiwa Adejobi stated that the 14th biennial games will produce new talents for the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) and the country at large.
He further revealed that the sporting event will promote peace, and stability in the country and reduce crime activities in the country.
According to the PPRO, “We are tired of hearing old names of athletes, many of them have retired and we want to use the games to recruit new talents that will represent Nigeria and West Africa in sporting activities.
“We are expecting over 4000 athletes from the 17 zonal commands across the country. Our Presence in Oyo State will improve security and economic status of the State”.
ACP Adejobi maintained that the NPF is fully committed to taking the lead in sporting development while revealing that the game will strengthen the unity of the country.
He, however, commended the Oyo state government for accepting to host the 14th Police Games stating that the state government has set the pace for others
to follow.
Speaking further, the Oyo State Commissioner for Youth and Sport, Miss Wasilat Adegoke, further re-affirmed the commitment of the state government to hold the sporting festival, adding that the presence of police contingency and sport-loving fans will improve the security and economic growth of the state.
The CPS to the Oyo State Governor, Pastor Olanrewaju Sulaimon stated that the hosting of the sporting event is a blessing to the state.
He said, “Oyo state is fully ready and prepared to make the 8th-day event a success. We are hopeful that the event will produce future Olympic winners for Nigeria. It will be an exciting event and create a new dawn in athletics in Nigeria”.

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Falcons, Lionesses battle for Olympic ticket in Douala

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After missing out on the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament for three consecutive times, Super Falcons face another daunting task against fierce rivals Cameroon for a spot at the 2024 edition in Paris later this year.

This crucial two-legged tie, set for February 23 and 26, stands as the penultimate hurdle to securing a coveted spot in Paris 2024.

The Falcons eliminated Ethiopia in the second round to get to this round, where they battle the Lionesses — who beat Uganda 3-2 on aggregate — in the final qualifiers for Paris 2024 as they hope to qualify for the Olympics for the first time since Beijing 2008.

The first leg of the encounter will take place at the Stade de la Reunification in Douala on Friday (today), with the Confederation of African Football appointing Ugandan Shamirah Nabadda as the centre referee for the match.

Buoyed by the return of head coach, Randy Waldrum, who is set to be on the touchline for the first time since their World Cup outing last year in Australia and New Zealand, the Falcons will leave no stone unturned in their quest for Olympic qualification.

Speaking ahead of the game, Ifeoma Onumonu believes the Falcons have the quality to earn a berth in Paris 2024.

“I am really confident of our qualification because I think we have a good team, we are together and we are prepared, and I think we are going to beat this team both away and in our home, no disrespect to them though,” Onumonu told paimedia.com.

“I want to promise we are going to be at this year’s Olympics, I mean we haven’t been there for years, so that is our real number one goal, anything can happen in this game, but our focus right now is to beat Cameroon.”

Waldrum has assembled a squad of 21 players, who travelled to Douala for the crucial first-leg encounter.

The team will then return to Abuja for the return leg against the Lionesses at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja.

 

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