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ITTF World Table-Tennis Championships: Quadri, Mati Advance to Round of 64




Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri and Taiwo Mati have both advanced to the round of 64 at the ongoing 2023 ITTF World Table-Tennis Championships finals in Durban, South Africa.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that World number 12 Quadri defeated Ovidiu Ionescu of Romania 4-2 (11-7, 12-10, 8-11, 11-5, 7-11, 11-9) in a men’s singles round of 128 encounter.

Quadri who is also Africa’s number one ranked player, was on the front foot early in the match as he took a 2-0 lead against his opponent ranked number 109.

Ionescu looked poised to stage a comeback as he broke Quadri’s serve in the third set to make it 2-1, but it was short-lived as the Nigerian bounced back in the fourth for a 3-1 lead.

The Romanian had another short spell in the fifth as he narrowed the gap to 3-2, but Quadri came back roaring in the fifth and final set to make it 4-2.

He overpowered his opponent as he ammased a superior point of 60 as against the Romanian’s 53 with his biggest lead (6) coming in the fourth set to advance to the round of 64.

Also, campatriot Taiwo Mati pulled a stunning comeback victory from the brinks of two sets down to win Czech’s Lubomir Jancarik 4-2 (7-11, 7-11, 11-6, 11-9, 12-10, 11-8) in another round of 128 fixture.

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World number 94 Jancarik looked to dominate and impose his game early on Mati who is currently 99 on the ITTF rankings as he took the first two sets in quick successions.

But the 18 year-old Nigerian was resilient, showing character and mental strength to upset his opponent against all odds.

He came back strong in the third set and never looked back from then on, hitting his opponent with his trademark left-handed attacks in the final third to progress to the round of 64.

In the women’s singles round of 124 fixtures, Nigeria’s world number 61 ranked player Fatimo Bello walked over Liopa Santhy of Vanuatu 4-0 to advance to the round of 64.

However, Nigeria’s other representative in the women’s singles event, world number 154, Olufunke Oshonaike crashed out after she lost 0-4 (7-11, 4-11, 6-11, 7-11) to world number 153, Charlotte Lutz of France.

Lutz proved too strong for the Nigerian as she totally dominated her opponent with 44 overall points won as against Oshonaike’s 24 with her biggest lead of 7 coming in the first and fourth set.

In the men’s doubles event, the pair of Bode Abiodun and Quadri were knocked out as they lost 2-3 (14-16, 11-5, 11-8, 4-11, 3-11) to the duo of Hungry’s Nandor Ecseki and Adam Szudi in a round of 64 encounter.

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While the pair of Nigeria’s Cecilia Akpan and Offiong Edem also crashed out of the women’s doubles event after losing 0-3 (5-11, 3-11, 10-12) to the duo of Hungary’s Dora Madarasz and Georgina Pota in the round of 64.

The week-long 2023 ITTF World Table-Tennis Championships which served off on Saturday will end on Sunday in Durban, South Africa. (NAN) (


Nigeria Badminton Federation President, Orbih Elected Member,  African Badminton Confederation




By Orkula Shaagee, Abuja

The president of the Badminton Federation of Nigeria (BFN), Francis Orbih has been elected as a council member of the Badminton Confederation  Africa (BCA).

His election climaxed activities of   the world Badminton Federation (BWF)congress, which held Thursday, in Kualar Lumpur, Malaysia.

Orbih, a Lawyer, had earlier lost in 2021, when he sought for a two-year tenure.

On Thursday, however,  he won election for a a four-year tenure, longer than the two-year tenure he unsuccessfully sought in 2021.

In a statement in Abuja, Orbih said with his victory,  Nigeria  was back in the boardroom where decisions about the administration of the game of badminton in Africa are taken.

“Nigeria will definitely have a better voice  and wwould be able to influencing decisions,” an obviously joyful Orbih stated.

In the election also, Tukebana Michel Bau of Seychelles retained his post as the BCA President as he  was returned unopposed, while Kingsley Mulenga  of Zambia, who defeated the incumbent  Amine Zobiri of Algeria emerged as the Deputy President.

Botswana’s  Mpiwa Bosenogile  defeated the incumbent, Mrs. Chipo Zumbrani of Zimbabwe to become the Treasurer.

A total of 11 members out of 21 contestants were elected into council.  They are include: Odette Assembe Engoulou (Cameron);Rajen Pultoo (MRI); Dr Hesham Fouad Mohamed El Tohamy (EGY); Jeanette Moneoang LESHOTA. (LES); Simon Mugabi (Uganda); Aubin Houndagnon ASSOGBA (BEN); Dro Honore Zolobe (CIV);Francis ORBIH (Nigeria); Mohamed Moncef Zemmouchi (Algeria); Micheal John Noone (South Africa) and Michael Shamsu Mustapha (SLE)

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Sports Sector to get N80bn Under National Development Plan – Minister




Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Sunday Dare, says the sports sector will receive N80 billion in the next four years, under the Federal Government’s National Development Plan (NDP).

Dare said this in Abuja while receiving the “Outstanding Youth and Sports Minister” award, presented to him by the Executive Board of Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC), led by its President, Habu Gumel.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the award was presented to the minister for his contributions to sports development in Nigeria and the Olympic movement.

Dare said that a percentage of the NDP fund for sports sector would go directly to sports federations since they were the main propellers of athletes’ success, which had now been attributed to him.

“I salute the resilience of the sports federations. Their sacrifices and work in developing sports in Nigeria deserve commendation.

“In spite of the challenges of funding, they still turn up for international competitions, thereby giving the athletes the needed exposure and training required to compete at the elite level.

“We all know that without these athletes, nothing is possible in sports, while there will be no achievements,” he said.

The minister also identified funding as one of the biggest challenges of sports development in Nigeria, a problem, he said that the newly-approved National Sports Industry Policy (NSIP) would alleviate.

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“The incentives outlined in the Sports as Business Policy have been approved and will be announced soon.

“The technical committee has put finishing touches to the document and it will become fully operational soon.

“This will drive private sector support for sports and there will be a massive turnaround, as the funding issue will be confronted headlong.

“In the last four years, the sports ministry had moved from being a third tier ministry to being a first tier one.

“Just a few weeks back, the Federal Government approved N2.4 billon for a High Performance Centre to be established inside the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja.

“Before then, there was the Anti Doping Centre to be established in Nsukka, Enugu State,” he said.

Dare commended NOC for offering scholarships to many Nigerian athletes and combining its participation in sports with education.

Earlier, Gumel commended the minister for his numerous achievements, some of which, he said, included: the emergence of the National Sports Industry Policy (NSIP) and the ‘Adopt Initiative’.

Other achievements, he said, were the revamping of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL), payment of monthly stipends to the families of departed sports icons as well as provision of financial support to ailing former and active athletes.

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According to the NOC president, another remarkable legacy is the delivery of the headquarters and secretariat of Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) by the federal government.

He recalled that the ANOCA secretariat was inaugurated by the President of International Olympic Committee (IOC), Dr Thomas Bach.

Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Sports and Youth Development, Alhaji Ismaila Abubakar, thanked the minister for his ‘wonderful’ performance in office.

Abubakar, while wishing Dare well in his future endeavours, called for stronger cooperation between the ministry and the Olympic family. (NAN) 

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Head of French Olympic Committee Quits




French Olympic Committee chief, Brigitte Henriques, has stepped down, just over a year before the Paris Summer Games begin in late July 2024.

She announced her decision at a board meeting on Thursday, the committee announced.

French media reports said there had been a power struggle within the organisation.

See also  Kenya, Ethiopia Win Medals as Nigeria Breaks Records
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