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Nigeria’s 4×100m Women squad win Gold, Men settle for Bronze in Birmingham



• PHOTO: Gold medallists Nigeria’s Tobi Amusan, Nigeria’s Favour Ofili, Nigeria’s Rosemary Chukwuma, and Nigeria’s Nzubechi Grace Nwokocha pose after the women’s 4x100m relay final athletics event at the Alexander Stadium, in Birmingham on day ten of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, central England, on August 7, 2022. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP)

Tobi Amusan was drafted in to run the lead leg as team Nigeria struck another gold medal in the 4×100 meters women’s relay of the on-going Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

Amusan, along with Favour Ofili, Rosemary Chukwuma, and Grace Nwokocha, clocked a new African record of 42.10 seconds to place first ahead of the host nation, England, and the Island of Jamaica.

Amusan, who was drafted in for Joy Udo-Gabriel barely one hour after retaining her 100 meters hurdles title in record time, started the race strong for Nigeria before smoothly passing the baton to 200 meters silver medallist, Favour Ofili.

Ofili maintained Nigeria’s pace before handing over to Chukwuma who built a substantial lead ahead of the chasing pack.

England, led off by Asha Philip, Imani Lansiquot and Bianca Williams delivered the baton into the final 100 meters with ground to make up on Nigeria.

Daryll Neita, who anchored England, briefly threatened to reel in Nigeria’s anchor Nwokocha as the crowd perhaps sensed a dramatic comeback, but the English team ran out of track and had to settle for second place on the podium.

Double Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah recovered from a sloppy final baton exchange to earn Jamaica bronze to add to her personal tally of gold in both the 100 and 200 meters.

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However, in the men’s version of the 4x100m relay, team Nigeria had to settle for bronze as the quartet of Udodi Onwuzuruike, who replaced Seye Ogunlewe, along with Favour Ashe, Alaba Akintola, and Raymond Ekevwo, clocked 38.81 seconds to place 3rd.

Defending champions, England, retained their 4×100 meters relay gold as Ojie Edoburun anchored home a blazing display.

Edoburun, who was called up to the team in place of the injured Reece Prescod, finished clear of Trinidad and Tobago in 38.35 seconds.

Jona Efoloko replaced Adam Gemili on the opening leg with Zharnel Hughes and Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake impressing in the middle of the race.

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Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium: We’ll beat Governor’s deadline – Ekweremadu Jnr.



• Enugu State Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Barr. Lloyd Ekweremadu Jnr

…Says school sports to return

Enugu State Government is determined to see the state-owned football club, Rangers International, return to the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium for its home matches before the end of November, Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Barr. Lloyd Ekweremadu has reassured.

The commissioner gave the assurances while briefing Government House correspondents at the of the State Executive Council meeting, at the weekend.

He said that although the governor’s November deadline was tight, the Ministry was determined to ensure that the Flying Antelopes returned to the stadium, popularly known as The Cathedral, before November.

“The Executive Council was briefed on the issue of the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium and the expected return of our darling Rangers to play at our Cathedral and to generally bring the stadium back to effective use. We deliberated on the targets and steps being taken to meet set targets of the government.

“We are making progress. The turf, which is to be laid on the plain surface, is in Nigeria now. It has passed the very critical stage, which is Customs clearance, but there are a few other steps at the moment.

“Deadlines have been set and those deadlines are quite short and ambitious. But we are very optimistic and we know in fact that we will meet those targets and our goals. So, we are taking very proactive steps to ensure that we beat the target.

“The governor said in his 100 days in office speech that the stadium would be ready for use by November. But we are working round the clock to see that we even beat that time and deliver the stadium back to use in record time. And the Executive Council has resolved to put certain measures in place, which will ensure that we meet such targets.”

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He added that creative and innovative steps were being taken, particularly with regards to sponsorship, to bring Rangers to the winning ways of old.

Speaking further, Ekweremadu Jr said measures were being put in place to revive school sports in the state.

He said: “Steps are being taken through collaborations amongst various ministries towards actualising His Excellency’s vision to bring back and revitalize school sports. Our plans include bringing inter-school sports back, to serve as an opportunity for talent discovery, to engage the youth positively and actively as well as keep them away from social vices, crime and the like”, he stated.

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National team footballer killed by gunmen



A player for Panama’s national football team has been shot dead in the city of Colón.

Gunmen opened fire on a group of people, among them 26-year-old Gilberto Hernández, who had gathered in a building in the city.

Hernández died and seven others were injured in the attack.

It is not yet clear if the footballer, who also played for Club Atlético Independiente, was the target of the shooting or what the motive was.

There has been a rise in murders in Colón over the past months as two rival gangs fight for control of lucrative drug smuggling routes.

So far, more than 50 people have been killed in Colón, a city of 40,000 inhabitants, so far this year.

The port city, on the north entrance to the Panama canal, is a transit point for cocaine smuggled from South America through Panama to Europe.

The shooting happened on Sunday afternoon local time.

Two gunmen forced a taxi driver to take them to a building in the city’s Barrio Norte neighbourhood and opened fire on the group gathered there.

The gunmen fled the scene, but a suspect has since been arrested in a flat nearby.

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Tragedy as thunder strike kills referee during friendly match in Suleja



Tragedy struck on Tuesday after a Nigerian referee identified as Mustafa Coach 02, was killed by a lightening strike on a football pitch in Madalla Town, Suleja LGA of Niger State

Late Mustafa died during a friendly football match which was disrupted by heavy rainfall followed by thunder strikes.

The deceased, who was said to be a member of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), met his tragic death on Tuesday evening during the match played on the community’s school field in Madalla Town.

An eyewitness, Muhammed Musa, told Daily Trust that the match in which Suleja and Madalla youths participated, was on half time break around 5:20 pm when the incident happened.

“It was raining and all the footballers along with their fans were taken refuge inside the school’s classrooms. The referee along with his assistant (line man) rushed back to the field, demanding the players to join them.

“They were only at the centre of the pitch when the thunder struck. Two of them were rushed to a hospital, where Sulaiman was confirmed dead on arrival while his assistant was revived.”

A family member of the deceased, who simply gave his name as Ibrahim, said the the late Mustafa was buried Wednesday morning in Suleja town where he lived.

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