Olajide Starts Preparation For Commonwealth Games

Nigeria table tennis junior champion,  Olajide Omotayo has moved his training base to Italy and Switzerland with  the objectives of winning medals at the 2014  Commonwealth games in Glasgow Scotland.

Omotayo was Nigeria’s best player at the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF)-organised World Junior Championships which took place in Rabat, Morocco. He won the Asoju-oba Table Tennis Championship in November and also emerged the junior champion at the Lagos International Table Tennis Classics.

According to the youngster, traveling out of the country would help him improve his skills and play against the best players in the world and also will give him the chance to compete in the inaugural Swiss Premier League, serving off in 2014.

The 2012 National Sports Festival gold medallist said: “I am currently training in Italy while I will be playing the division one league in Switzerland. I would have loved to go to France or Germany instead because they have stronger leagues than the Italian and Switzerland leagues. I chose to play in Switzerland and Italy because I want to start from the scratch, as I may not be able to cope with the players playing in division one in France and Germany for now. Beginning with this will help improve my game so that I can compete very well with top players in major international competitions.”

With his enterprising style of play, coupled with excellent footwork, Omotayo dazzled in Morocco and for him, winning diadems for Nigeria at the Olympics and Commonwealth Games remains one of his priorities in the game.

“I have all it takes to become one of the world’s best because I am still young, having won series of laurels at cadet, junior and senior levels in Nigeria. Even though I would have loved to win more before leaving, I know with God by my side I will make Nigeria proud,” he said.

“I also want to win laurels for Nigeria in events such as Commonwealth, All Africa and Olympics Games. I am also aiming to become the first Nigerian player to win the World Championship and Olympics medals,” he added.

Listing some of the skills he picked up in Morocco, Omotayo said: “I learned a lot of things from the Morocco World Junior Championships, like the different styles and techniques; especially the Asian players because they are so fast, mobile, accurate and strong on the table.”

Omotayo believes that leaving Nigeria for Italy is the best decision he has made this year.

“I feel so happy leaving Nigeria at a tender age and playing abroad for a professional club as this will enable me to be a good player in future because I have all it takes like facilities, equipment as well as a personal coach, which I was lacking while in Nigeria.”

Analysts Celebrate Kano Pillars, Back Eaglet’s Ihenacho To Shine

On Sports This Morning, analysts have thrown their weight behind the Nigerian Under-17 national team, Golden Eaglets to make great impact at the on-going FIFA U-17 World Cup in United Arab Emirates, after their demolition of defending champions, Mexico by a 6-1 scoreline in their opening game played on Saturday.

They have also identified the Eaglets’ 4 goal hero, Kelechi Ihenacho as a star for the future. They called on the Nigerian football administrators to nurture the team so that the boys can grow together rather than focusing on winning the competition.

Reviewing the just concluded Glo Premier League which produced Kano Pillars as champion, they commended the team for their feat of joining Enyimba FC of Aba as the only teams to have won the Nigerian Football League back-to-back.

 

Mikel Obi dedicates FA Cup to Yekini

Footballer,  Mikel Obi, has dedicated his FA Cup winners’ medal to late football icon Rashidi Yekini, and also promised to honour him during the Champions League Final on May 19.  

According to Mikel, “I would like to dedicate my FA Cup medal to him, and if the manager picks me, I will also try to do something to honour him during the Champions League Final.”

 

“He was one of those that I looked up to as inspiration to be a footballer, and I was devastated to hear what happened to him…I saw some of the clips from the 1994 World Cup and his name was among those that we used to hear all the time,” Mikel disclosed in an interview with KickoffNigeria.com

“I can’t say what I will do yet, but he deserves every honour and this is just my own little way of showing respect to him for what he did for this country.” he added. Mikel Obi belongs to the Chelsea club and played in the game that fetched Chelsea a triumph against Wembley club on Saturday.

Match officials escape being lynched by irate fans in Kano

An ugly situation was averted in Kano on Saturday as angry fans attempted lynching the centre referee in the match between Sardauna of Kano and Sportlight of Katsina. The game was played at the Kano Pillars Township Stadium.

His assistants and other match officials also escaped death by the whiskers from angry supporters of the Kano-based team at the end of Nigeria National League fixture which ended in a 1-1 draw.

Trouble started when some angry home fans at the stadium violently protested the outcome of the clash between the northern neighbours when the centre referee ended the game

They began hauling missiles unto the pitch, and it took the intervention of club officials to calm them down.

At that point, security agents were compelled to provide cover for the match officials, who investigations revealed, were smuggled to a safe place in the ancient city.

Attempts to speak to the match officials proved abortive as they were in a state of shock, but it was confirmed that none of them suffered any bodily harm.

The visiting Katsina side had scored first in the first stanza securing a 1-0 lead.

They held on to the lone goal advantage into the second stanza of the game.

Sarduana FC launched various offensives which paid off when Ndah Abdulkareem fired home from 25 yards to level score for the home side.