Okagbare Wins Nigeria’s First Medal In Moscow

Blessing Okagbare has won Nigeria’s first medal in Moscow as she leaped 6.99 metres to clinch the silver medal in the long jump event final.

The Sapele-born athlete qualified for the final of the Women’s long jump event at the on-going IAAF World Championship in Moscow with a jump of 6.83m, placing second in the qualification behind Great Britain’s Shara Proctor who jumped a distance of 6.85m in her first attempt to automatically qualify for the final.

The minimum qualification requirement was 6.75m or at least the 12 best performances.

Blessing Okagbare, who is the country’s hope to win its first gold medal at the World Athletic in Moscow, became the first Nigerian and African woman to duck under 10.80 seconds in the women’s 100m dash when she smashed the African women’s 100m record twice on her way to victory at the London Anniversary Games two weeks ago.

Her performance on the track this season has given Nigerians hope of medals in the world championship.

Based on her achievements lately, Team Nigeria registered Okagbare for four events, including the Long jump, 4x100m relay, 200m and 100m.

Okagbare had on June 30, won the 200m in the Birmingham Diamond League in 22.55 seconds. She also won the long jump event at IAAF Diamond League on July 5 in Lausanne, with 6.98 metres before crossing to Monaco IAAF Diamond League, where she recorded a personal best of 7.04m also in the long jump.

Nigeria last won a medal at the Athletic World Championship in 1999, a drought Blessing Okagbare has ended with her victory.

Nike Suspends Contract With Pistorius

American sportswear company Nike suspended its endorsement contract with South African Paralympian Oscar Pistorius on Thursday after he was charged with murdering his girlfriend a week ago.

Nike has sponsored Pistorius since 2007, supplying him with running kit and special soles that he wears on the base of his carbon fiber racing blades.

“We believe Oscar Pistorius should be afforded due process and we will continue to monitor the situation closely,” the company said in a statement, confirming the suspension of the agreement.

Nike, the world’s largest sportswear company, ended a long-standing sponsorship agreement with cyclist Lance Armstrong last year after he was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles because of a doping scandal.

Nicknamed “Blade Runner”, double amputee Pistorius is the world’s highest profile Paralympian and also competed alongside able-bodied athletes in the London Olympics last year.

His sponsorship deals with companies including British telecoms firm, sunglasses maker Oakley and French designer Thierry Mugler are believed to be worth around $2 million a year.

 

Jonathan plans big reception for Paralympic team on Saturday

President Goodluck Jonathan has directed that the Paralympic team that won medals for Nigeria at the just concluded games in London be brought to Abuja and accorded a special reception on Saturday.

The Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, who disclosed this to state house correspondents after the Federal Executive Council meeting in Abuja, said that equally to be accorded a special reception are the members of the Falconets, who also did Nigeria proud at the female world cup competition in Japan.

“The president has already sent special commendation to the team and all Nigerians are very proud of their performance in London. It has indeed wiped away our tears from the performance of the able bodied Olympic team,” Mr Maku said.

The Minister said the performance of the Paralympic team shows that there is talent in everyone.

“The message the Paralympic team has shown Nigerians is that we need greater passion in the things we do. If I look at the faces of those athletes during the competition and you look at their total absorption and interest and passion and commitment to the national flag throughout the tournament, you could see that there is a big difference in terms of their desire and commitment to win.

“Let me also say that the performance of this team tells us that every citizen is important and that there could be greater talent in the physically challenged than those of us who will always think that we are physically abled,” he said.

The minister said he believes that as President Jonathan receives the team on Saturday “the signal will clearly go to all Nigerians that no matter your physical challenges you can give this country greater honour; greater contribution to its development than any other citizen.”

There were angry reactions on Tuesday following the low profile reception accorded the triumphant Paralympics team when they arrived the country after winning a total of six gold medals in the London Olympics event.

The athletes, who were transported home by their various federation buses, said they should be accorded same respect and recognition as their able bodied counterparts.

Nigeria finished 22nd position in the overall medal table with a total of 13 medals comprising six gold, five silver and two bronze medals.

London 2012 Failure:School sports to blame?

The London Olympics 2012 was the subject matter with Ken Ochonogor the presenter ‘Sports Palava’ as viewers called in to express their views.

Jonathan orders overhaul of sports sector

Following Nigeria’s dismal performance at the London Olympics, President Goodluck Jonathan has ordered a total and comprehensive re-organization of the nation’s sport sector.

United States defeated the D'Tigers of Nigeria 156-73 in the Olympics basketball game

The Nigerian contingent to the Olympic Games failed to win any medal at the just concluded games.

Disclosing the announcement to journalists at the end of the Federal Council Meeting on Wednesday, the Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku said that the president has called for a national retreat which will involve state governors as well as the private sector to re-order priorities in the Nigerian sporting sector.

The Federal Executive Council also agreed that the disappointment in London must be the beginning of a new momentum that will place Nigerian sports at a level that will enable the country return to the glory it is known for in the field of sports.

 The FEC gave approval for an International Development Association loan for the development of the Obudu Dam in Cross River state.

The dam when completed will meet the water needs of the communities in Cross River state as well as provide irrigation for the agricultural sector.

 

 


 

 

Olympics 2012: Nigeria finishes fourth in 4x100m women relay

Even though they finished fourth in the final of the 4 x 100m women relay, Nigeria’s quartet of Oludamola Osayomi, Gloria Asumnu, Endurance Abinuwa and Blessing Okagbare posted a season best of 42.64 seconds.

Okagbare who ran the last lap for Nigeria was almost close to picking the bronze but could not outdo Ukraine’s Elizaveta Bryzgina.

US quartet of Tianna Madison,Allyson Felix,Bianca Knight and Carmelita Jeter created a new world record as they ran a time of 40.82 seconds to claim gold medal.

Jamaica clinched silver in a time of 41.41 seconds while Ukraine won bronze in time of 42.04 seconds.

Only yesterday,the minister of Sports Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi admitted that Team Nigeria have had a woeful performance at the London 2012 Olympics.
It is now left to be seen where the medals will come from,as Nigeria has only few competitions to compete in,the Women’s 4×400 meters finals

Olympic: Analyst says poor planning robbed Nigeria of medals

Sport analyst, Solomon Ajuziogu on Monday blamed the poor performance of team Nigeria at the London 2012 Olympics on poor planning.

Mr Ajuziogu who was speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast program, Sunrise Daily, said from the beginning of the Olympics he knew that the team would return to Nigeria without a single medal.

“I wasn’t expecting anything. We didn’t prepare; we aren’t ready for it. It’s just all paper talk,” he said.

Mr Ajuziogu said planning is what took the Chinese to the top of the medal table.

South Africa grab lightweight four gold

South Africa powered to victory in the men’s lightweight four final on Thursday, holding off the favourites Britain and Denmark in a thrilling sprint for the line to win the country’s first Olympic rowing title.

The victory by about a foot with a breathtaking late burst denied Britain a third gold medal of the Games and a win for brothers Peter and Richard Chambers from Northern Ireland. Britain finished second with Denmark in third.

Denmark led the race from the start before South Africa and Britain pulled level. In a final sprint for the line in front of 25,000 roaring fans, the South Africans just got their timing right before collapsing in their boat and looking to the big screens to see whether they had won.

South Africa triumphed in a time of six minutes 02:84, from Britain a quarter of a second back. Denmark were a further 0.07 of a second behind the British.

Rowing: Britain storm to first gold

Britain’s Helen Glover and Heather Stanning stormed to victory in the women’s Olympic rowing pair on Wednesday to give the host nation their first gold medal of the London Olympics in front of 25,000 screaming fans.

Roared on by Princes William and Harry, the British duo – who only came together in 2010 after missing out on other boats – took a commanding lead early in the race and held off a late challenge from Australia to claim the first Olympic gold won by a British women’s crew.

“Ecstatic,” Glover told reporters on the bank of the lake. “It’s so surreal, it will take forever to sink in. We’re just really relieved, thank you so much everyone.”

The British duo had started as strong favorites for the title after dominating the international season and following their heat, in which they set an Olympic best time. They punched the air as they went over the line, waved to the crowd and covered their faces.

Minutes later they stood on the podium, arms aloft to receive the adulation from the crowd and struggling to hold back the tears.

“I was so shattered,” Stanning told the BBC. “I’m just so overjoyed – I’m talking rubbish now as well.”

Glover and Stanning had mostly rowed under the radar in the build up to the Games, with all the focus on Katherine Grainger who is hunting for her first Olympic gold in the double scull after winning three silvers at consecutive Games.

STUNNING PERFORMANCE

The performance followed a stunning few years for the pair and reflected the strength of the British system, with Glover only starting to row four years ago after being picked out as someone with potential for her 178 cm height.

Stanning, at 181 cm, started two years before that. She has been given time out of her job in the army to compete at the Games but she is expected to return later this year and could deploy to Afghanistan from next year.

The British pair had jumped out to a length lead in the first 500 meters of the 2,000 meter course and controlled the race to win from Australia in silver and New Zealand in bronze amid deafening roars from the grandstands on the lake to the west of London.

British women rowers have won a string of silver and bronze medals in the last three Olympics and numerous world titles, but have had to wait until their home Games for their first gold since women’s rowing was introduced at the Olympics in 1976.

The 26-year-old Glover and Stanning, 27, were both products of a British recruitment programme to find tall athletes with little prior experience of rowing.

The victory in the first final of the Olympic regatta could also be the first of many for the British squad as several other crews including the women’s double and the men’s lightweight four all start as favorites.

Britain still on course for Gold medal rush- BOA

The Olympic association of host country Britain in the on-going Olympic tournament in London said the GB team are still on course for medal rush especially the old medal category, a category that determines the position on medals table.

This media stunt was called for after a mixed up start by the host as the Host country could only manage to win two silver medals during the midday of day four of the tournament and the much-awaited gold medal is still not on their record till this moment.

The Olympic association of Britain is however optimistic in the clinching of the gold medals said BOA chef de mission Andy Hunt saying further that the team is confident in mentality so it does make sense if the team is not delivering.

The men’s team artistic gymnastics competition earned them a Bronze in what was tagged a fantastic result, and it was celebrated overnight and this morning while weightlifter Zoe Smith got a new British record and according to Andy Hunt, it is an historic outcome of a medal for the first time as it was a first in the event for a century.

Four years ago Team GB won 19 gold medals at the Beijing Olympics and with that they finished fourth on the medal table.

Hunt was however hopeful that there are still medal opportunities coming from Rowing, track cycling, time trial, sailing, triathlon, open-water swimming.

Team GB are being headed by Australia who has been tagged as arch-rival of the Britain as they have been able to get a gold medal and they hope that that won’t take long to change.

London Olympics: Saudi Female Athletes to compete

Much against its earlier stand of not sending female athletes to the Olympics taking place in London this year, the kingdom has decided to send its female athletes for the first time which will have a judoka,800m runner later this month and this information has been confirmed by the International Olympic Committee.

Wodjan Ali Seraj Abdulrahim Shahrkhani one of the females to represent Saudi Arabia will be competing in the +78kg category in judo.

Sarah Attar on the other hand will be glad to be the first ever woman to represent Saudi Arabia in a game of this nature after talks between the Kingdom and the IOC yielded positive result.

According to Sarah, the news is an appreciable one and she couldn’t hide her delight and so is the IOC as the body said it can’t wait to welcome these girls to London.

Saudi Arabia Olympic Committee made the decision to allow the females compete in London and it means the country will have male and female representatives in a game that will commence in a few weeks time.

In 1996 precisely the Atlanta Games, 26 nations failed to send female athletes with the figure gradually going down to just three at the 2008 Beijing Games.

Female participation in sports has long been a controversial issue in Saudi Arabia, where powerful clerics denounce women for exercising, saying it goes against their nature.

Attar, 17, said she was honored by the prospect of competing for her country at London 2012.

The conservative Muslim kingdom is one of the three countries, alongside Brunei and Qatar, never to have sent female athletes but the latter two confirmed earlier this year that their delegation would include women.

Brunei has entered Maziah Mahusin (athletics), while Qatar has entered Nada Arkaji (swimming), Noor Al-Malki (athletics), Aya Magdy (table tennis) and Bahiya Al-Hamad (shooting), who will also be her country’s flag bearer at the opening ceremony.

The IOC said the two Saudi athletes, invited by the IOC, were entered by the Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee by the official deadline of 9 July.

Federer,Cancellara to head Swiss Olympic team

The Swiss Olympic Committee has announced that Roger Federer and Fabian Cancellara will be leading the Switzerland team comprising of 102 athletes to the London Olympics.

Reeling out the objective of the team, the committee said the team for Switzerland is aiming to claim 8 to 10 medals but realistically what is satisfactory to the committee is between 5 medals and 7 medals.

In Bejing Olympics four years ago, Switzerland boasted of 84 athletes and carted away seven medals which Federer and partner Stanislas Wawrinka’s gold medal in men’s tennis doubles and Cancellara’s gold in the men’s road time trial in cycling was amongst.

Swiss Olympic says it refused a national tennis federation request to pick Romina Oprandi, the 66th-ranked woman who switched eligibility from Italy this year.

Switzerland’s chances in the London Olympics got a bigger boost with a first singles gold for Federer on grass courts at Wimbledon as they will be defending their titles.