The Cycling Federation of Nigeria (CFN) has picked 35 cyclists to represent Nigeria at the second Africa Cup Track Cycling Championship holding from Thursday to July 17 in Abuja.
Bashir Mohammed, CFN’s Technical Director, said the cyclists were picked from the elite and junior teams camped in Abuja.
“They have been undergoing intensive training for over four months at the velodrome of the Moshood Abiola National Stadium,” he said.
Mohammed said the team of cyclists would participate in several events at the championship.
The Nigerian team will compete in events in both the junior and elite levels in the male and female categories.
The 35 cyclists will be divided into two teams of 17 for the juniors and 18 for the elite.
The 17 cyclists in the juniors category comprise 11 male and six female, while the 18 cyclists in the elite category have 10 male and eight female.
“We are set for the championship and it is good that it is taking place in our country where we will compete in all the 11 medal events,” the federation official said, assuring that the 35 cyclists have been well prepared for the competition.
Mohammed also disclosed that cyclists from 20 countries, including Nigeria, were being expected to participate in the competition.
He listed the countries as including South Africa, Zimbabwe, Egypt, Morocco, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Republic of Benin, Guinea, Burundi, Eritrea, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Uganda, Algeria, Togo, Rwanda and Tunisia.
The federation had earlier conducted national trials from June 8 to June 12, where 139 cyclists participated and 52 cyclists were picked for closed camping.
Nigeria hosted the championship’s first edition in July 2019 in Abuja, and nine countries participated.
With a contingent of 21 cyclists of both female and male categories, Nigeria won a total of 51 medals comprising 21 gold, 18 silver and 12 bronze to emerge champions.
Egypt finished second with eight gold, seven silver and seven bronze medals, while Morocco were third with four gold and three silver medals.
Burkina finished fourth with three silver, five bronze, Burundi fifth with two bronze, and Ghana sixth with a bronze medal. (NAN)
Baker Calls for more Technical Basketball Academies in Nigeria
Ganon Baker, an international high-performer basketball trainer has called for more technical basketball academies in Nigeria to raise the standard of the game.
Baker made the call on Monday in Abuja at a week-long training clinic for Nigerian coaches and players organised by Sports Renaissance Africa Partners (SRAP).
The renowned U.S certified coach with over 30 decades of experience in the game, stressed the need for technical and systematic coaching to nurture the abundant basketball talents in the country.
He said his visit to Nigeria was to teach kids, players and coaches the rudiments of the game and how to win basketball championships.
” I see a lot of talents in Nigeria but they are unpolished, they are inexperienced, they are not secure, unbelievable talents, but it comes down to coaches, to nurture them that is why we are here.
“If you have good coaches, you are going to have good players, if you don’t have good players may be coaches don’t give them enough information.
“My experience with African players is that they’re very humble and hungry to win,” he said.
Baker said with proper coaching and exposure, a lot more Nigerian players can make it to the U.S National Basketball Association (NBA).
Earlier, the Chief Executive Officer of SRAP, Relindis Mbu said the clinic is aimed at leveraging on the wealth of tactical experience of Baker to help develop young talents and Coaches in Nigeria.
“The real goal of our project is to give tactical training to coaches so they can transfer it and build eco system of basketball in the world, Africa and Nigeria.
“The end goal is technical expertise that will bring our athletes to international standard so that they can excel locally and internationally in any where they are.” she said.
Baker is one of the most respected premier basketball skill coaches in the World, he is renowned with working with the NBA, WNBA, CBA, Euro League, NCAA, NJCAA, U Sports among others.(NAN)
FIFA U- 20 Women’s World Cup: Falconets Defeat South Korea 1-0
Nigeria’s Under-20 National Women’s Football Team (Falconets) defeated South Korea 1-0 on Sunday in their Group C Match Day Two of the ongoing FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Costa Rica.
The News Agency of Nigeria ( NAN) report that the Falconets got a vital boost at the Estadio Alajuela Morera Soto Stadium with the defeat of the South Koreans to reach the knock-out round.
The Falconets also got off to a winning start on Thursday with a 1-0 win over highly-rated France.
However, the South Koreans shot to the top of the group when they beat Canada 2-0.
Falconets got on a sound footing with excellent passes to the admiration of few spectators but no goal to show for their display in the first half of the match.
They started very well, but their Korean opponents grew into the game, and even hit the post from a free kick but the Nigerian girls held on.
Both teams played almost all their tactics and skills all to no avail in the pursuit of a goal that never came
The Falconets dominated possession with 64 per cent as against the South Koreans’ 36 per cent.
Both teams continued from where they stopped with the Falconets dominating in the second half of the game .
Esther Onyenezide finally scored for the Falconets in the 83rd minute of the game for the winning goal.
Nigeria will be up agsinst Canada on Aug.19 in their next match.
NAN reports that the victory lifted Falconets to the knockout rounds of the World Cup even before a final group game against Canada.
The Falconets were paired in Group C along with France, South Korea and Canada.
Meanwhile, in another match played earlier in Group D, Japan defeated Ghana 2-0.
The FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, which started on Aug. 10, is expected to end on 28 in Costa Rica.(NAN)
Edo Deputy Gov. Retires From Professional Football in Style
Edo Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu on Friday, announced his retirement from professional football.
Until his retirement, Shaibu was a signed player of Bendel Insurance FC, a club that he helped to secure a ticket to the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL).
The deputy governor announced his retirement in Benin at a news conference, shorty after the Insurance’s last match in the Nigerian National League (NNL) against Vandrezzer FC of Lagos.
Insurance won the week 22 by a lone goal to end the 2021/2022 soccer season, amidst jubilation among the fans at Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium.
He had earlier distributed souvenir which included jersey with his name and balls to scores of fans who were present at the venue of the final league play.
Briefing newsmen, the Edo deputy governor said he was elated that his six years sojourn with the Benin side ended with a ticket to the Nigerian apex league.
Shaibu commended stakeholders, who helped to restore the past glory of the ancient football club.
“I am so excited today that in good health, I am retiring from professional football and thank the stakeholders in Bendel Insurance for this historic moment of retiring with jersey number 40.
“It’s first of its kind and I am so excited and happy about it,” he said, noting that he was more elated that his commitment to and rebranding of Bendel Insurance yielded the desired result.
The deputy governor, who recounted his football stints in Federal Capital Territory with YSFON U-20, Foreign Affairs FC as well as defunct Ijesha United and Nigerian Prisons FC, said he won all matches in the clubs except for a draw.
The retiring player, who noted that he exited without any injury, said the qualification for promotion of Bendel Insurance to the elite NPFL was his happiest moment in the football career.
He recalled winning a gold medal for Edo during the 20th National Sports Festival.
He urged Coach Monday Odigie to live up to the bidding in the NPFL, assuring the club of the necessary state government’s support.
The club, he noted, could not afford to go back to the lower league, as they were back to where they rightly belonged.
He said the present government in Edo had demonstrated genuine love for sports with the upgrade of facilities at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium and rebranded both the men and women football clubs in the state.
According to him, Edo Government has returned the state as a home to sports, and a tourist site for sports development in the country. (NAN)
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