BY: OLATOYE OLAWALE 


Tobiloba Ayomide Amusan has made history as the first Nigerian track and field athlete and the second in history to successfully defend a Commonwealth Games 100m hurdles title.
 
The petite, 25 year old also set a new 12.30 seconds Games Record on the way to winning the event’s gold.


Amusan, the reigning World champion and world record holder in the event also became the first Nigerian track and field athlete to win gold at two editions of the Games.

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With the gold at the 2022 Commonwealth Games, Amusan has now become the only Nigerian athlete in history to complete a grand slam of titles at the continental, Commonwealth and world levels after winning gold at the 22nd African Athletics championships in Mauritius in June and the World Athletics Championships in Oregon, USA last month.

Amusan’s gold has now made it 10 Gold medals won by Nigeria so far, one short of the 11 won in 1994, 2010 and 2014.

It is also one short of the three gold medals won by the track and field team in 1990,1994 and 2014 with the 4x100m relays and the women’s long jump final coming up later Sunday afternoon and evening respectively.

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BY: OLATOYE OLAWALE 


Chief Organiser of SportsFlames/ Kwara United Player of the Season award has announce that the award presentation will hold on Monday August 8th, 2022 at the Kwara United Secretariat in Ilorin, Kwara state by 11am. 

Striker Alao Danbani emerged winner of the maiden award in Kwara State, after he pulled a total 62.2% of the votes from the poll to edge out Afeez Nosir, Ayodeji Bamidele and Samad Kadiri who came second, third and fourth after they pulled 19.7%, 17% and 5% respectively from the online voting portal (https://bit.ly/sportflameskupoty) which lasted for four weeks.

The award Organiser, previously resident in Lagos had the award known as the SportsFlames/MFMFC Player of the Year award with the inaugural edition held in 2017.

Onuwa Chukwuka formerly with MFM FC clinched the prize, defender Adeyinka Najeem now with Niger Tornadoes won the last edition while he was with MFM FC last year.

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Olatoye Olawale, Managing Partner of Sportflames Communications and General Manager SGFC Athletics Sports Club expressed delight that the award is making it's debut in Ilorin, Kwara State after relocating from Lagos state.

According to him, "It's a good feeling to bring the award down to Ilorin, Kwara state. Our vision is to have the award with different Clubs playing in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) every season.

" This project is our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) as an organisation, rewarding individual players excellent performance after he distinguished himself on and off the pitch. We started this with MFM FC in Lagos, now we are in Kwara State, so next season we can choose to go to another team or continue with Kwara United. 

" The Sportflames brand hopes to keep improving on the award, hosting it yearly, and we also plan to take it beyond just one club in NPFL", he concluded.

Alao Danbani becomes the first to win the award which is now resident in Kwara state.

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Ever-present African flag bearers Nigeria departed the shores of the country on Thursday evening for this year’s FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup finals taking place in Costa Rica.

Coach Chris Danjuma has picked team captain Oluwatosin Demehin and 20 others – an overwhelming majority of whom were involved in the lengthy qualifying series – to wear Nigeria’s colours at the 19 –day championship.

The Falconets had to scale the hurdles presented by Central African Republic, Republic of Congo, Cameroon and Senegal, winning six of seven matches (they only drew with Cameroon in Douala) to be eligible to fly Africa’s flag once more at the finals in central America.


Nigeria will play France, Canada and Korea Republic in Group C of the 16-natio tournament starting on 10th August, while 2018 runners-up Spain will tango with hosts Costa Rica, Australia and Brazil in Group A. Africa’s other flagbearers Ghana are up against Cup holders Japan, The Netherlands and three –time champions United States of America in Group D.

Germany, who have also won the competition three times, including 2010 and 2014 when they beat Nigeria in the final, will play Colombia, New Zealand and Mexico in Group B.

All group phase and quarter final matches will be played at the Alejandro Morera Soto, which is a hybrid of natural and synthetic grass, called stitched grass. The semi final, final and third place matches will take place at the Estadio Nacional.

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Nigeria’s first match of the competition will be against France, which hosted the 2018 edition. At the 2014 championship in Canada, Nigeria topped a group involving Korea Republic, beating the Koreans 2-1 in a group phase match. France finished in third place at the same competition as Nigeria finished as runners-up.


FALCONETS’ FINAL TEAM FOR FIFA U20 WOMEN’S WORLD CUP

Goalkeepers: Nelly Ekeh, Monle Oyono, Peace Obidinma

Defenders: Oluwatosin Demehin, Omowunmi Oshobukola, Rofiat Imuran, Jumoke Alani, Chidinma 

Midfielders: Bashirat Amoo, Esther Onyenezide, Adoo Yina, Motunrayo Amoo, Chinyere Kalu, Deborah Abiodun

Forwards: Blessing Okpe, Joy Jerry, Mercy Idoko, Flourish Sabastine, Chioma Olise, Chiamaka Okwuchukwu

FIFA U2O WOMEN’S WORLD CUP COSTA RICA 2022

GROUP A: Costa Rica, Australia, Spain, Brazil

GROUP B: Germany, Colombia, New Zealand, Mexico

GROUP C: France, Nigeria, Canada, Korea Republic

GROUP D: Japan, The Netherlands, Ghana, USA

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BY: OLATOYE OLAWALE 


Technical Adviser of Plateau United Fidelis Ilechukwu have revealed that his personal target ahead of next football season is to qualify the club to the group stage of the CAF Champions League, after finishing runners up in the just concluded NPFL season.

The gaffer set a record of qualifying Olukoya boys of Lagos to their first ever CAF Champions League appearance after finishing second in their second season in NPFL before pitching tent with the Naze millionaire of Owerri; he said his achievement last season with Plateau United is nothing special but reaching the group stage of the CAF Champions League with Plateau United next season would give him something new to celebrate in his coaching career.


According to him when responding to question on Sport Connect a WhatsApp Platform, he said," My personal target is to get to the group stage of the CAF Champions League”, He said in an interview with Journalist on a social media WhatsApp platform Sports Connect.

" I know it will be a very challenging one to achieve but this task ahead of us will surely come with a lot of sacrifice and major sacrifice is 80% financial support and the rest 20% s what would be sorted out by ourselves.

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" It’s going to be a thing of joy for Plateau United because they’ve never qualified to the group stage of the CAF Champions League for the two times that they’ve qualified for the CAF Champions League.

" Even when I qualified with MFM Football Club, I didn’t make it to the group stage, so I didn’t do anything different this time, I didn’t win the league, because I finished second and this second time with Lalong boys would really love to take a step further, qualifying for the Champions League group stage, so I can have something to celebrate in my Coaching career”, He concluded.

Fidelis Ilechukwu led MFM FC where knocked out of the first round of the CAF Champions by MC Alger of Algeria 7-2 aggregate.

The Olukoya Boys had managed a 2-1 win in their reverse tie, but MC Alger came out smoking, beating the Nigeria flag bearers 6-0 in the second leg.

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BY: OLATOYE OLAWALE


Team Nigeria ended Day 3 of the Commonwealth Games with two more medals as it also booked a semi-final place in the men’s event of Table Tennis.

The day’s outing started with a bronze medal after Team Nigeria’s Edidong Joseph Umoafia clinched Bronze in the Men’s 67kg Weightlifing event.

According to report from Birmingham, Umoafia lifted a combined 290 from both Clean and Snatch & Jerk to win this medal. Gold and Siler honours in this category went to India’s Lalrinnunga Jeremy and Samoa’s Vaipava Nevo Ioane respectively.


Then the momentum moved to Men’s Table Tennis event where Team Nigeria was up against Team Nigeria in the Quarterfinals.

After losing the doubles, Quadri Aruna’s win in the first singles’ event put Team Nigeria level but Team Malaysia went ahead again after Team lost the second singles event.

Olajide Omotayo had to step in to keep the hopes alive in Game 4 landing a win that forced a fifth set which Quadri Aruna won for Team Nigeria

Below are breakdown of results:

Doubles:

Javen Choong /Shen 3 – 1 Bode Abiodun/Olajide Omotayo (6-11, 12-10, 12 -10,11-7)

Singles 1:

Chee Feng Leong 1 – 3 Quadri Aruna (9 -11,11 – 6,5 -11, 5-11)

Singles 2:

Qi Shen Wong 3 – 0 Bode Biodun (12 -10, 14 -12, 11-5)

Singles 3:

Chee Feng Leong 1-3 Olajide Omotayo (8-11, 11-9, 7-11, 6-11)

Singles 4:

Javen Choong 1-3 Quadri Aruna (11-7, 8-11, 5-11, 9-11)

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Team Nigeria will now face Team India for a place in the finals.

Then came boxing. A 3-2 points West Africa Derby win over Team Ghana’s Abubakari Kwesi saw Team Nigeria’s Adeyinka Benson move into the quarter finals of the Men’s Middleweight category.

Then came another medal for Team Nigeria in Weightlifting after Rafiatu Folashade Lawal dominated the Women’s 59kg category to win the Gold medal in this category.

The 2021 African Championships Gold medalist set a new Games record of 206kg.


Speaking with journalists after this feat, Lawal spoke about her preparations for the Games and how it influenced this feat.

" I’m so excited and happy because I didn’t really expect what happened today. I was not under any pressure because of the support my English opponent received from the home crowd. I have trained very hard and my target coming here was to get the Gold medal”

This second Gold medal helped Team Nigeria retain its 9th place on the medal table. Team Nigeria will participate in Men’s Table Tennis, Boxing, Judo and Weightlifting
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BY: OLATOYE OLAWALE 

 

Oluwatobiloba Amusan become the first and only Nigerian ever to win a gold at the World Athletics Championships, she erased the 100m hurdles World record with a time of 12:12 seconds when she won the semi-final before she ran a new world record at the 2022 World Athletics Championships Finals in Oregon, USA.

Amusan won the gold in style when she ran a time of 12:06 seconds in the final which would have meant breaking her own record of 12:12 seconds but her time was chalked off due to wind assist.


The minor set-back would not however, deprive the petite hurdler to claim Nigeria’s first ever gold medal at at Worlds.

Speaking after the race, Amusan who pushed the country’s name into the medals table, said she believed in her ability.

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According to her," The goal was to come out and to win this gold. I just did it. I must confess to you, I never expected a world record feat in the process.

" Honestly, I believe in my abilities, but I was not expecting a world record at these championships.”

A picture later emerged where she wrote on a board for the world to welcome ” incoming world record holder and world champion.”
She has become the first and only Nigerian ever to win a gold at a world championship

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BY: OLATOYE OLAWALE


It was an electrifying local derby between host Gidado FC and SGFC Athletics in the matchday 16 of the Nationwide Division one League (NLO1) at the Kwara State Complex Stadium Ilorin on Friday Evening.

SGFC Athletics came into game with the mindset of a revenge having lost the reverse fixture at home 1-0 courtesy of a questionable penalty awarded to the away team, they came out smoking but the home side were also prepared for task ahead as they as well came out with the fight.

The home side were gifted with an opportunity to go ahead in the 36th minutes after being awarded a penalty following a foul inside the SGFC area, the captain Sanusi Olayinka would step up to take the spot kick but saw his effort parried away by goalkeeper Godwin Friday.


Just before half time break, SGFC Athletics had for themselves a penalty appeal waved away by the center referee after Wisdom Higenus was fouled inside the box but the referee would only issue him a yellow card stating that it was a dive, 0-0 it ended at halftime.

With five minutes into the second half SGFC Athletics would have gotten the lead only for Sulyman Ibrahim's to see his long range effort parried away by the goalkeeper for a corner kick.

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SGFC Athletics kept the pressure on but yet again failed to hit the target, Gidado FC also had a fair share of their own chance but the closer they came to scoring was when Amuda Issac's late free kick was meant by the wood work.

Goalless it ended, no winner no vanquish as both side shared the point.

Reacting after the game was the head coach of SGFC Athletics, Jamiu Isa ( The Future One) who praised his team effort stating that he was satisfied with the share of spoils.

" I am satisfied with the performance of my boys we prepared well for this game and invested so much in preparation for the game, we had our game plan which was well executed, It was a local derby that lived to it's expectations", He said in a post Match interview.


Reflecting on what happened in the first game where they lost at home, the gaffer said it was a different ball game now compared to when they first arrived stating that they weren't familiar with it atmosphere, the culture and with the people at first a situation which has now changed.

" When we came around first time we weren't use to the environment the people around and the culture so it slowed our game down a little bit in the first leg, but now you would agree  that it is a different game because we've fully settled down and we prepared well for this game", He concluded.
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BY: OLATOYE OLAWALE 


Sonia Ngozi Okobi-Okeoghene, the 28-year old experienced shining light in Nigeria’s midfield said the Super Falcons would not be unsettled by the fanatical support the hosts are sure to receive tonight, when they battle the Atlas Lionesses in one of the Semi-finals of TotalEnergies Women’s Africa Cup of Nations at the Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium, Rabat.

Atlas Lionesses have won all their four games at the continental tournament so far but against the Super Falcons, they face a very experienced team that knows a thing or two about reaching finals.


According to Okobi, She said," We have played against teams playing at home and we know how to manage games like this. We do not care about how many people are in the stadium. We shall come into this game with the sole purpose of winning and going to the final.”

She further said," Nigeria defeated Cameroon 1-0 in the 2016 final in front of over 42,000 fans inside the Ahmadu Ahidjo Stadium and according to her, that experience will come in handy. The Sweden-based midfield genius is hoping to play in her fifth WAFCON final, but Morocco stands in her way achieving that;"

" Coming into the WAFCON, our goal was to qualify for the World Cup and we have done that. Now, we have turned our focus on winning our 10th title and we want to do exactly that. We know that Morocco will have the home crowd behind them but we shall be up for the challenge,” Waldrum said with confidence.

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Nigeria have already tasted defeat in this tournament losing 2-1 in their opener against rivals South Africa and according to the head coach Randy Waldrum, the Super Falcons do not want to feel the way they did two weeks ago.

Nigeria will need to be mindful of Morocco’s dead ball specialty having scored all their seven goals from the spot (three goals) and four off free-kicks in fine fashion with captain Ghizlane Chebbak leading the way in execution including two penalties.


Both sides have only conceded twice in the tournament and boast of the best defensive setups in the tournament with both coaches having their work cut out on how to break down their opponents.

Monday’s clash will be a record 12th time Nigeria will be featuring in the semifinals of the WAFCON and they have won nine times falling short only in 2008 and 2012. The big question is – can Morocco stop the Super Falcons?

The much-anticipated semifinal will take place at the Moulay Abdallah Stadium in Rabat at 2100hrs local time and will be live on SuperSport, BeIN and Arryadia TV in Morocco

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