Efe Ajagba Begins Campaign With A Knockout

efeNigerian boxer, Efe Ajagba gave a promising start to the country’s Olympic boxing campaign with a knockout victory over Trinidad and Tobago’s Nigel Paul in round one.

Ajagba needed two minutes, forty-four seconds to see off his opponent and prevented spectators who were still sorting things out at the gate from seeing the fight.

The Nigerian boxer has now qualified for the quarter finals to face Kazakhstan’s Ivan Dychko who also qualified via a knockout win over his opponent from Azerbaijan.

Ajagba who is the only boxer representing Nigeria in Rio jumped to the rope to acknowledge the crowd’s roaring support before dashing to his coach’s corner to hug Anthony Konyegwachie in celebration.

The Super Heavyweight Boxer who won gold at the 2015 All Africa Games in Congo, Brazaville and a bronze at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, has another chance of moving to the medal’s zone with his next fight scheduled for Tuesday at the Riocentro Pavilion.

The Trinidad and Tobago opponent fell awkwardly on the canvass and the Russian referee did not hesitate to end the fight.

The manner of his fall raised fears when he hit his head on the canvass but rose up and wobbled to his corner. The Lion of the ring, Efe, pumped his fists to the sky enjoying the moment.

Efe’s next opponent is also huge and slightly taller, whose left hook opened a deep cut on his Azerbaijan opponent but coach Anthony Konyegwachie has assured that his boxer will not have any problem against his competitor.

US, Poland, Austria To Compete At Abuja International Badminton Event

badmintonNine countries have confirmed participation for this year’s Abuja International Badminton Championship scheduled to serve off on September 30, at the Gymnasium Hall of the National Stadium.

Top on the list include the USA, Poland and Austria. Other countries that will also feature at the International Championship are Turkey, Egypt, Uganda, Ghana, South Africa and Mauritius.

Host country, Nigeria, will compete with her very best players in the event which promises to bring together over 100 internationally ranked badminton players into the country.

The championship is coming barely two weeks after the conclusion of the African Games in Congo, where Nigeria won six medals in Badminton.

Leading Nigerian players who at various times were best players on the continent including Jinkam Ifraimu, Ola Fagbemi and Maria Braimah will file out to compete alongside younger, but vastly improved players like Grace Gabriel, Tosin Atolegbe and other rising stars.

International stars expected to feature at the four-day event are Kate Fookune, the Mauritian who won the female gold in the African Games in Brazaville and the male gold medalist, Edwin Ekiring from Uganda.

President of the Badminton Federation of Nigeria (BFN), Justice Danlami Senchi, said that the tournament has been sanctioned by the Badminton Confederation of Africa (BCA) and the World Badminton Federation (WBF).

“This is an international championship and our aim is to attract the best players of Badminton to Nigeria, so we are doing everything to make sure the championship is successful” he stated.

“The game of Badminton holds a lot of promise in our country. We contributed immensely to the medals haul at the just concluded All African Games (AAG) and our intention is to keep improving the game as we move along” Justice Senchi explained.

Secretary of the Federation, Mrs Miriam Akande, confirmed that all arrangements have been put in place to make the tournament successful.

“As you know, security of the players is uppermost in our minds so we have made elaborate arrangements on the issue of security.

“We have also prepared adequately for the welfare of players and officials,” the Secretary stated.

Mrs Akande also gave the assurance that crucial items like playing mats, shuttles and other equipment have been provided to meet international standards while the technical crew was working round the clock to ensure quality officiating among others.

The Federation wants corporate bodies and sports lovers to support the game of badminton, particularly the Abuja International Championship so good followership can be achieved.

National Sports Festival Will Come After AAG 2015 – Yakmut

Yakmut-DG,-National-Sports-CommissionThe Director General of the National Sports Commission (NSC), Al-Hassan Yakmut, has confirmed that the delayed 2014 edition of the National Sports Festival will be held after the All Africa Games (AAG) 2015.

Mr Yakmut while speaking on Channels Television’s sports programme, Sports Tonight, identified funding as a major problem that had stalled the event.

He said the commission was working towards a public-private partnership, as they await a positive response from the supposed 2014 festival host, Cross River State Government.

Yakmut was the Director of Grassroots Sports Development Department of the National Sports Commission before he took over from Honorable Gbenga Elegbeleye in May 2015.

Meanwhile, the AAG 2015 will run between September 4 and 15 in Brazzaville, Congo, and the Director General is optimistic that everything needed for the national games would be ready after the All Africa Games.

The Nigeria U-23 team is scheduled to face Defending Champions, Ghana, Senegal and Egypt in Group B of the the football events, while host country, Congo, will face Sudan, Burkina Faso and Zimbabwe in Group A.