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Abidjan African Judo Open 2024: Team Nigeria Pick Third Position Behind Cameroon, Argentina



The Abidjan African Judo Open 2024 came to an end on Sunday with good performance from Nigerian judokas who came third in .

The Abidjan African Judo Open 2024 came to an end on Sunday with good performance from Nigerian judokas who came third in the 32-nation tournament held in Cote D’Ivoire.

Cameroon came first on the medal table with 4 gold, 3 silver and 1 bronze medals Argentina was second on the table with 2 gold and 1 bronze, while the Nigerian team were third with 1 gold, 1 silver and 2 bronze medals.

Competitors of 103 men and 44 women came in from the five continents of the world to attend the Judo Open which was held between 8 and 9 in Abidjan.

President of Nigeria Judo Federation (NJF), Dr. Musa Oshodi who led the Nigerian contingent to the world tournament praised the performance of the judokas, adding that “we are not at the Abidjan African Open 2024 to make number rather our team came to make the nation proud.”

The president assures that the NJC will leave nothing to chance to ensure that Nigerian judokas are given the enabling environment to showcase their talent with necessary exposure to both local and international tournaments.


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Olympics: BFN celebrates Opeyori, plans intensive training in Italy



The Badminton Federation of Nigeria (BFN) on Friday in Lagos organised a special dinner to send forth the country's number one badminton star

The Badminton Federation of Nigeria (BFN) on Friday in Lagos organised a special dinner to send forth the country’s number one badminton star Anuoluwapo Opeyori, who is set to intensify training in Italy ahead of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

Opeyori, who has dominated Africa in the men’s singles from 2019 till date, winning four African Championship titles and two African Games titles, secured a spot at the Paris Games last month, becoming the first Nigerian badminton player to qualify for two consecutive Olympics after featuring at Tokyo 2020.

An elated Francis Orbih, President of the Badminton Federation of Nigeria, said on the occasion that Opeyori had broken the badminton jinx after qualification for the Games in Paris.

“History was made in badminton after Anuoluwapo Opeyori secured a spot at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. I am full of joy because Anu is the first Nigerian badminton player to feature in the men’s singles at the Olympic Games and also the first Nigerian badminton player to attend two Olympics back-to-back,” Orbih stated at the Civic Centre, Lagos, venue of the event.

Speaking with the media after the event, Orbih outlined the federation’s programme for Opeyori, which he said would begin with a three-week training tour of Italy this week.

He added, “We titled this programme ‘Send forth’ because we intend him to travel to Italy next week (this week) for a training camp camp for about three weeks. After that, the ministry will open its training camp in Germany July 1, he’ll join the team Nigeria there.

“We also intend him to play the Mauritius International and one other championship. After the training camp he needs to go to the court and put to use the skills he acquired in camp. After that he goes straight to the Olympics.”

President of the Nigeria Olympic Committee, Habu Gumel, also charged Opeyori to put up a fine outing in France.

“I’ll watch all your matches in Paris no matter how tight my schedule will be, so go make Nigerians proud.”

Also present at the event were top dignitaries, including ace comedian and BFN brand ambassador Ali Baba, a former Commissioner for Sports, Lagos State, Enitan Oshodi, DG of the Lagos state Sports Commission Lekan Fatodu as well as representatives of Mutual Benefits Assurance, Mikano Group, Dufil Prima Foods, Avis, Bond Global Energy, Studio 24, Ikoyi Club 1938 officials and members, amongst others.


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NBA Finals: Celtics beat Mavericks 105-98, take 2-0 lead



In a game full of up and down emotions but one that a very smart and accurate team knew how to put away, the Boston Celtics managed to

In a game full of up and down emotions but one that a very smart and accurate team knew how to put away, the Boston Celtics managed to beat the Dallas Mavericks with a final score of 105-98 in the second game of the NBA Finals to take a 2-0 lead.

Despite the impressive performance of Luka Doncic, who recorded a triple double with 32 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists while not being 100%, the Celtics showed greater strength as a team and delivered clutch baskets.

From the beginning of the game, the intensity could be felt on the court, with both teams fighting for every possession and seeking to establish their dominance. The Mavericks counted on an outstanding performance from Doncic, who led his team’s offense with a display of skills in both shooting and ball distribution in what it seemed to be a game that Dallas could take.

However, despite his outstanding individual performance, the Celtics managed to neutralize his impact through solid defense and a well-executed collective strategy. Boston showed remarkable cohesion as a team, with notable contributions from several key players. Jrue Holiday stood out with 26 points and 11 rebounds, leading Boston’s offensive charge and proving his worth in crucial moments of the game.

Additionally, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown contributed significantly to the team, providing a combination of points, rebounds and assists to keep the Celtics in control of the game.

As the game moved toward the end, the Mavericks fought for a comeback, led by Doncic, who continued to apply pressure on both ends of the court. But the Celtics held firm on defense and found ways to maintain their lead, thus securing the victory and consolidating their lead in the series.



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What French Open told us about Olympic favourites



The French Open is over for another year – but the clay courts of Roland Garros will be back in use sooner than you think.

The iconic Paris venue will host the tennis tournaments at this summer’s Olympic and Paralympic Games.

It is the first time since Barcelona 1992 that tennis at the Olympics will be played on the surface.

So, has the French Open given us any hints about the gold-medal contenders?

‘Toughest challenge’ is beating Swiatek in Paris
Iga Swiatek has a 35-2 win record at Roland Garros

It’s hard to look past Iga Swiatek for women’s singles gold.

The 23-year-old has won four Grand Slam titles since the last Olympics in 2021, with three of those triumphs arriving on the clay courts of Roland Garros.

“I love it here,” Swiatek said after winning her third straight French Open title with a commanding victory over Italy’s Jasmine Paolini.

Paolini told Swiatek afterwards that playing her in Paris is “the toughest challenge in this sport” – and she’s not wrong.

That final victory stretched the Pole’s winning streak at Roland Garros to 21 matches.

It also rounded off a dominant clay-court season for Swiatek, who added to her wins in Madrid and Rome to become just the second player after Serena Williams to claim the ‘Triple Crown’ in a calendar year.

Not even Swiatek’s three closest-ranked rivals – Aryna Sabalenka, Coco Gauff and Elena Rybakina – have been able to defeat her on the surface this year.

Keeping her away from the gold medal will be difficult.

Djokovic faces fitness fight in bid for missing piece

Olympic gold is the one thing missing from Novak Djokovic’s trophy collection.

And at 37, time appears to be running out for the Serb to triumph at a Games.

In April, Djokovic said Paris 2024 was “a priority” this year.

However, his Olympic dream has been hampered by a medial meniscus tear in his right knee that caused his withdrawal from the French Open quarter-finals.

Not only did that end Djokovic’s hopes of winning a record 25th Grand Slam title, it also means he faces a race against time to be fit in time for the Olympics.

Djokovic earned a bronze medal at Beijing 2008, but he has lost the third-place match twice in his three Olympic appearances since.

Long-term rivals Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray have both won gold in the men’s singles, while Roger Federer took silver in 2012.

The men’s singles draw is wide open

While Swiatek is the nailed-on favourite for gold in the women’s draw, it’s harder to call on the men’s side.

Even if Djokovic is fit in time for the Olympics, the 24-time Grand Slam champion has struggled for form this year, failing to reach a final.

Carlos Alcaraz will head into the Games as the reigning French Open champion after claiming a maiden title at the tournament many always thought he was destined to win.

However, it was anything but an easy run for the Spaniard, who needed five sets to win his semi-final against Jannik Sinner, while Alexander Zverev also took him to five in the final.

Runner-up Zverev is the defending Olympic champion, and the German will take confidence from reaching the showpiece after failing to win his three previous semi-finals in Paris.

New world number one Sinner made his best run in the French capital, while fellow semi-finalist Casper Ruud can also be considered a key contender having made two of the past three finals at Roland Garros.

Brits are in ‘best place’ on clay before Paris
Andy Murray won gold in the men’s singles at London 2012 and Rio 2016

This year’s French Open was a tournament to forget for the British singles players.

The six Britons – Andy Murray, Katie Boulter, Cameron Norrie, Jack Draper, Dan Evans and Harriet Dart – all lost their opening matches in the first three days.

A poor showing in Paris doesn’t bode well for Team GB at this year’s Olympics, but Evans said British tennis was in the “best spot” it had been on clay for a long time.

Two-time Olympic gold medallist Murray came close to winning the title at Roland Garros in 2016, losing to Djokovic in the final.

Paris 2024 is likely to be the 37-year-old’s last chance to compete at a Games, having said earlier this year he is not planning to “play much past this summer”.

Hewett and Reid have big chance of Paralympic gold
Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid won doubles silver at Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020

Team GB might stand a better chance at the Paralympics when it comes to tennis.

Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid will be favourites to win men’s doubles gold in Paris after sealing their fifth straight French Open triumph on Saturday.

The pair, who have won 20 Grand Slam titles together, will be keen to better their silver-medal results from 2016 and 2020.

World number one Hewett will also want to get his hands on the gold medal in the singles, after losing out to Reid in Rio in 2016.

He lost in the French Open singles semi-finals this year, with Japanese teenager Tokito Oda winning the title for the second year running.



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