IAAF launches WorldRunning.com, a new website for running enthusiasts

The IAAF today announced the launch of World Running, a new global website which aims to bring the world of running together.

Developed on behalf of the IAAF by The Realbuzz Group, the free-to-access website is aimed specifically at non-elite runners and will also give them the chance to discover how they measure up to their peers around the world.

The world-first grassroots ranking system is based on a complex algorithm factoring times, number of races completed, weather, terrain and age. It is designed to be easy to use, enabling runners to record their race results and track their progress online.

The rankings are combined with expert training advice and networking with fellow runners to create a total online running experience for users.

Also included are event listings, training advice and injury support, as well as exclusive elite athlete interviews, reports and features.

Lamine Diack, President of the IAAF, said: “This is an important step in our engagement with the worldwide running community – a large and important part of the athletics family.”

“We are very pleased to be able to offer runners of all levels – from fun runners to experienced marathon runners – this unprecedented opportunity to gain an official global ranking. I am certain it will prove a new motivation for many participants, and help to bring the running world even closer together.”

Visit World Running at http://www.worldrunning.com.

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Table Tennis Legends Announced as 2014 Youth Olympic Games Athlete Role Models

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Jörgen PERSSON (SWE) and WANG Liqin (CHN) have been announced as the Table Tennis Athlete Role Models (ARMs) who will attend the 2nd Summer Youth Olympic Games (YOG) from 16 to 28 August in Nanjing, China.

Between them, these two superstars of table tennis have won everything there is to win. PERSSON has 5 World Championship medals to his name, and WANG has won a staggering 11 World Championships gold and two Olympic gold medals in an extraordinary career.

PERSSON, who is one of three men to have played in every Olympic table tennis event since its debut in 1988 stated: “It is special to be appointed as the Table Tennis role model for the Youth Olympic Games. I am looking forward to the Youth Olympic Games and to work along side with WANG Liqin who is a good friend of mine and of the all-time greats.”

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Jörgen PERSSON (SWE) and WANG Liqin (CHN) will be reunited again as Athlete Role Models in Nanjing.

In Nanjing, PERSSON and WANG, who played off for the bronze medal at the 2008 Bejing Olympics which WANG won, will play a key role in supporting, mentoring and offering advice to the young Table Tennis players who will be participating in the Games.

ITTF Deputy CEO responsible for Development & Education Glenn TEPPER stated: “ITTF is extremely pleased to have Jörgen PERSSON and WANG Liqin as Athlete Role Models, with both being of the highest possible caliber, holding multiple World and Olympic titles between them. Both will also be involved in the ITTF “Road to Nanjing” Training Camp in Shanghai China in June open to YOG qualified athletes and “Road to Nanjing” Scholarships holders so will be able to inspire our young athletes even before YOG commences, and ongoing rapport will be well established prior to YOG.”

Both PERSSON and WANG will be accessible to the athletes both in the Youth Olympic Village and during a series of educational activities and workshops that will focus on areas such as skills development, how to lead healthy lifestyles, environment and social responsibility and Olympism.

The main goal behind making the ARMs as accessible as possible is so they can share their experiences and inspire the young athletes to be the best they can be both on and off the field of play. The Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games Table Tennis event will be held at Wutaishan Sport Complex on 17-28 August 2014.

The Table Tennis event will include 32 boys and 32 girls who will fight it out for 3 gold medals: boys’ singles, girls’ singles and the mixed teams event, which consists of one boy and one girl who have qualified for the singles event.

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Team Nigeria gets tough draw as WTF Youth Olympics qualifiers begin

Team Nigeria’s duo of Esther Godwin and Ogeh Ogochukwu has been handed a tough challenge as the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF)-organised 2014 Youth Olympics Qualifiers kick off on Thursday in Taipei City, Chinese Taipei.

After their weigh-in on Wednesday, Godwin and Ogochukwu will take to the ring on Thursday March 20 at the Taipei Arena for their encounters against some experienced athletes.

Godwin, who will be competing in the female -63kg, may likely confront World Junior Champion, Korea’s Park Bo-eui in match 16 of the tournament.

The National Youth Games gold medalist is making her first international appearance and she will face a Herculean task against the favoured Korean who is expected to beat Russia’s Turutina Yulia in her preliminary encounter.

Also, Ogochukwu will also be jostling for honours in the female -49kg and she is expected to tackle the winner between Peru’s Huaman Georgina and Chile’s Rios Francisca.

The nine-man team is supported by the National Sports Commission (NSC) will be guided by the new national coach, Jin Beom Kim.

On Friday, the trio of Iniobong Ekong, Isah Adamu and Bashir Mohammed will take to the ring for their ties.

Ekong has been drawn to face the winner between Croatia’s Ivina Babic and Canada’s Jerom Andrea in the female -55kg, while Mohammed will confront Cote d’Ivoire’s Aaron Fran in the male -55kg.

Adamu, who will be competing in the male -63kg, will battle Peru’s Oblitas in the first round on Friday March 21.
100 athletes made of 50 male and 50 female are expected to secure their qualifications to the 2014 World Youth Olympics in Nanjing, China from the Taipei’s qualifiers.

However, athletes that fail to make it from the qualifiers in Taipei will have to compete at the continental level to ascertain his or her place at the global championship holding later in the year in China.

Dolphins grab Senegalese defender

As part of efforts to build a strong team capable of returning the club to its glory years, Dolphins have completed the registration of Senegalese central defender, Mendy Xavier.

Xavier last played for ASFA Yennega of Burkina Faso and only recently crossed over to Dolphins in the off season.

“We cannot say we scouted him because an agent brought him to Port Harcourt and after the coaches tried him out they saw the potentials and began to work on his papers,” Media Officer of the club, China Acheru said.

Dolphins have also concluded the registration formalities of Ivorien box to box midfielder, Alhassane Dosso.

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Dosso played for the club between 2005 and 2008 before joined Sharks and then moving to Norway.

Other players who have sealed deals with the club ahead of the game against Crown this weekend are Victor Alegbe, a midfielder from Wikki Tourists as well as Ayobanmi Asekunuwo, a central defender from Wikki Tourists.

“The idea is to get a big squad with a lot of quality back up. This is what the coaches have been trying to do and we believe we will continue to build our squad as the weeks go by.”

Dolphins started the season on a good note drawing 1-1 against Heartland in Owerri on match day one; their first ever point in Owerri.

Mendy and Dosso signed one year contracts with Dolphins while Alegbe and Ayobanmi were taken on one year loan deals from Wikki Tourists

Glo Premier League Fixtures will go on

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The League Management Company (LMC) has said it is not aware of any order of court stopping matches of the Glo Premier League 2013/14 season.

A statement from the Office of the Chairman of LMC noted that there have been claims by certain individuals in Jos alleging they have been denied rights after purchasing tickets for purported league games.

According to the statement, “We have become aware of a suit filed at the Plateau State High Court, Jos by one ‘Mustapha Abubakar of Jos’ on the grounds that he had been denied rights to enjoy the league after purchasing Giwa FC match ticket(s) worth N5, 700 from a certain “Funky Odigie”. It is on record that a similar case has been filed by this same Funky Odigie in a Federal High Court making various claims which the LMC has since responded to through our Lawyers”.

The LMC then assured all stakeholders that it has similarly refered the new claim to their Lawyers to study and respond as appropriate and enjoined fans and all other stakeholders to go out and enjoy their favorite passion at League venues. “We reiterate with all sense of responsibility that there is no order stopping the League”.

Costa Rica2014: Flamingoes will score plenty goals against Colombia..Chiwendu apologies for poor show against China

Flamingoes captain Chinwe Ihezuo has assured Nigerians that she and her teammates are ready for a goal feast against Colombia in the ongoing FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup in Costa Rica on Thursday morning in Alajuela.

Nigeria after defeating China 2-1 on Monday morning will face the South Americans at the Alejandra Morera Soto stadium in their bid to secure the second victory at the World age grade competition.

The Nigeria U17 women skipper stressed the teammates’ readiness to secure an outright victory against the Colombians in their second Group D clash.

“They should expected plenty goals against Colombia. We are ready for the game against Colombia – We will do our best. We are fully prepared to win tomorrow with God on our side,” she assured.

The apologetic Flamingoes striker admitted her performance in the opening game was below par and promised to improve against Colombia.

She blamed the injury that forced her and some of her teammates out against China on inadequate intake of water and extreme tightness of their chin-guard which resulted to pain in her muscle.

“I was not in the game and I was even playing against my team – but I want to promise that I will step up against Colombia. I had a muscle pull and I also think the shin-guard we were wearing really affected us. We also didn’t take much water before the game,” she explained.

While responding to question over hopes of the country emerging champions of the tournament despite the slim 2-1 victory over China, Chinwe stressed that she and her teammates are very determined to bring the trophy to Nigeria.

“We stand a good chance to win the tournament; we are not only here to participate but to defend our country and ready to bring back the trophy to Nigeria – we will make them proud,” she confidently assured.

Nigeria U17 Women will take on Colombia by 8pm in Costa Rica on Wednesday evening while 3am Nigerian time on Thursday morning.

CAF Confederations Cup ! Athletique Bizertin storms Warri for Wolves

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A 42 man delegation of Athletique Bizertin Football Club of Tunisia, Warri Wolves opponent in the first leg of CAF Confederation Cup holding in Warri this Sunday will arrive Lagos on Thursday morning and will immediately board an Arik Airline to Warri.

According to the Media Manager of Warri Wolves, Moses Etu, the Tunisia team which will arrive Warri by 8.15am is made up of 20 players, 3 Medical team, 5 Technical crew, 9 Executive Officials, and 5 journalists from Tunisian National Television with Mr Naffeti Zied as head of delegation.

The twenty players has Bejaoui Hassen, born in February 1974 as the oldest while youthful Kchok Slimane born in July, 1994 as the youngest.

Other players that made the trip include Bargaoui Chaker, Ben Hadj Mabrouk, Ben Mustapha Farouk, Brik Marouen, Melliti Khaled, Jaziri Fakherddine, Rjaibi Edem, Salhi Yassine, Youssoupha Mbengue, Zaeim Kamel, Khadheri Mohahamed Arbi, Hmani Khaled, Mossaab Sassi, Darragi Zoubaier, Mathlouthi Hamza, Harbaoui Hassen, Machani Al;i, and Hadhria Nour.

Meanwhile, Warri Wolves Officials aware of the herculean task awaiting them this Sunday has intensified efforts to see that the boys are in great shape before the crucial encounter as the Tunisians are known to be a hard nut to crack judging from the matches they have played so far.

“We have to double our efforts to see that we get a favourable result and this is first leg so we need to score goals. The available information at our disposal confirmed that they are good and are currently doing well in their league but we are going to do our best” said Coach Aigbogun who is having his second stint with Warri Wolves.

Alampasu leads 20 Eaglets to Flying Eagles

Goalkeeper Sunday Alampasu will lead 19 other players from the Golden Eaglets to the Flying Eagles training camp in Abuja.

Alampasu was named best goalkeeper at last year’s FIFA U17 World Cup and was also picked for the country’s squad to the recent CHAN in South Africa.

Some of the other players invited are Wilfred Ndidi, Abdullahi Alfa, Akinjide Idowu, Saviour Godwin, Aliyu Abubakar, Chigozie Obasi, Dennis Okon Nya and Zaraddeen Bello.

They are latest Wednesday to join 35 other players who were picked from a two-week open trial in Abuja.

The Flying Eagles under coach Manu Garba have been training for a third week in Abuja ahead of a 2015 African Youth Championship qualifier against either Kenya or Tanzania in May.

Kenya and Tanzania will do battle next month for the right to face six-time African Youth Champions Nigeria in May with the overall winners advancing to the final qualifying round in August.

The invitees:

Goakeepers: Dele Alampasu, Abdulazeez Abubakar

Defenders: Wilfred Ndidi, Prince Izu Omego, Dennis Okon Nya

Midfielders: Clement Ogbobe, Akinjide Idowu, Aliyu Abubakar, Abdullahi Alfa, Ifeanyi Matthew, Zaraddeen Bello, Emmanuel Asadu, Prince Bonkat, Mustapha Abdullahi, Chigozie Obasi

Strikers: Saviour Godwin, Nafiu Kabuga, Ahmed Umar, Bernard Bulbwa, Chinedu Enedemu

Sharks and Lobi Managers Applaud Centre Ref Oguntamodi

Technical managers of Sharks football club and lobi stars have commended the centre referee in the week two encounter of the glo premier league between both sides for doing a great job over the weekend.

Gbenga Ogunbote of Sharks and Evans Ogeyi of Lobi both applauded Henry Oguntamodi for doing a great job in the field of play according to Ogunbote the man in black actually proved the organizers were right to have picked him to handle the match unlike the referee that officiated the Bayelsa United versus Sharks encounter in Sapele.

Ogunbote even challenged the sporting press during the post match parley to watch the match between Bayelsa united versus Sharks and compare the performance of both match officials.

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Gbenga Ogunbote

“ I want to challenge you to get the DVD of our match against Bayelsa united in Sapele and show it to the world and do same with our match against Lobi Stars you will understand what am talking about’.Ogunbote said

“The man at the centre today is a FIFA badge referee ( Henry Oguntamodi) and he did pretty well, I just wish we could get such officiating in subsequent games most especially on the road.”He stressed

For Evans Ogeyi there was no dull moments in the match because the men in black were in total charge of proceedings.

Team Nigeria arrives Taipei for WTF Youth Olympics qualifiers

The nine-man contingent of Team Nigeria at the weekend arrived Taipei City in Chinese Taipei in readiness for the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF)-organised 2014 Youth Olympics Qualifiers, which kicks on Thursday March 20.

With support from the National Sports Commission (NSC) and under the guidance of the new national coach, Jin Beom Kim, the duo of Esther Godwin (-63kg) and Ogeh Ogochukwu (49kg) will weigh-in on Wednesday March 19, while the draw will also hold same day. They are expected to fight on Thursday march 20.

Iniobong Ekong, Husseini Isah and Bashir Muhammad will weigh in on Thursday March 20 while they are to fight on Friday March 21.

For Ekong, her confidence has improved having undergone training prior to the tournament.

“This is the first time I will be competing for Nigeria, and I feel great about it. I feel like I can win a medal. I have finished my secondary school, but I have not registered for JAMB because of funds. I hope this trip can open an opportunity so I can be given a scholarship.

In Taipei, I expect to see other young people like me, but they have arms and legs like us. The camping experience has been good, because I have learnt many things and my stamina has improved,” the National Youth Games gold medalist said.

According to board member of Nigeria Taekwondo Federation (NTF), Chika Chukwumerije, the team has a good chance to make it to the Olympics.

“Two or three of them stand a slight chance, but I do not expect them to win medals on their very first international competition with no prior international experience and extended training. They are all eager to do well and win medals; their drive and passion is worth all the investment,” the Beijing Olympics medalist said.

He added: “For me, participation will change their lives; they will see new places, meet young people from all over the world, form healthy relationships, and learn new competitive tactics and strategies.

The inspiration from this trip would ensure and guarantee future success. Most importantly, it would increase Nigeria taekwondo chances for next year’s All Africa Games and 2016 Rio Olympics. They are the future of Nigeria taekwondo.”

“A good investment now would surely increase the size of medal dividends in the next decade. I hope they get scholarships, endorsements, training aids/equipment and every other pampering that is important for the development of a young athlete, so they can grow into mature confident adult competitors and leaders,” he explained.

Paradorn Srichaphan becomes Athlete Role Model for Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Tennis Event

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Thailand’s Paradorn Srichaphan, who won five singles titles in an outstanding career, will represent Tennis as an Athlete Role Model at the second Youth Olympic Games (YOG) to be held in Nanjing, China on 16-28 August. The 2014 Youth Olympic Tennis Event, for players aged 18-and-under, will take place on 17-24 August at the Tennis Academy of China.

Sixty-four players will contest the 2014 Youth Olympic Tennis Event, with each player taking part in three events, singles, doubles and mixed doubles. Mixed doubles will feature in the Youth Olympics for the first time following its successful re-introduction at the London 2012 Olympic Tennis Event. A maximum of two boys and two girls per country can be selected, with entries confirmed in June.

Srichaphan, 34, who retired in 2010, always took great pride in representing his country. A two-time Olympian, he was selected to carry the flag for Thailand in the Athens 2004 opening ceremony. Srichaphan was a member of Thailand’s Davis Cup team for nine years, playing 24 ties for his country, and has also been Davis Cup captain and coach.

The Athlete Role Models programme will be implemented by the Nanjing Youth Olympic Games Organising Committee (NYOCOG) as part of the Culture and Education Programme. The Athlete Role Models are Olympians who exemplify the Olympic values, both on and off the field of play. During the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games, they will connect and talk to the athletes and other young people in person and via social media to share their life stories and experiences taking part in competitions.

“Paradorn Srichaphan is an excellent choice to serve as an Athlete Role Model,” said ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti. “He always showed great professionalism and sportsmanship, and took great pride in playing for Thailand. I know that he will be an outstanding representative of tennis and of his country and continent in Nanjing.”

Srichaphan said: “I am honoured to be selected as an Athlete Role Model. I believe the Youth Olympic Games will be a fantastic event for the young athletes to compete on the global stage. This should be a great opportunity for them in the early stages of their athletic careers. I am looking forward to spending time with the young athletes and the other Athlete Role Models to promote the event.”

Thirty-nine countries took part in the inaugural Youth Olympic Tennis Event in Singapore in 2010, which saw Diego Gomez (COL) and Daria Gavrilova (RUS) crowned singles champions, and Oliver Golding (GBR) and Jiri Vesely (CZE), and Tang Hao Chen and Zheng Saisai (CHN) win doubles gold.

The Nanjing Youth Olympic Games will welcome around 3,800 athletes and officials from the 204 National Olympic Committees (NOCs). Young athletes – aged between 14 and 18 years – will compete in 28 sports.

GLO NPL – El-Kanemi gets new date with Abia Warriors

A new date of Wednesday, March 26 has been announced for the postponed Match Day 2 fixture between El-Kanemi Warriors and Abia Warriors.

The League Management Company (LMC) announced that the match will be played at the Kano Pillars Stadium in Kano which will now host home fixtures of the Maiduguri-based side until further notice.

Salihu Abubakar, the Chief Operating Officer of LMC disclosed this and said “in the light of developments in Maiduguri and adjoining cities, we had to suspend all fixtures in the town and have moved their home fixtures for now to Kano”.

The match will kick-off at 4.15pm local time. Meanwhile, in Match Day 2 fixtures, Heartland will host Sharks in Owerri in a Friday Star Match while the following day, Crown FC will play home to Dolphins FC, FC Taraba will receive El-Kanemi Warriors in Jalingo and Rangers International are hosts to Kano Pillars.

In Uyo, Akwa United will clash with Kaduna United and in Katsina Ala, it is Lobi Stars versus Gombe United. Also on Wednesday, March 26, Warri Wolves are home to Enyimba International while Bayelsa United are home to Nasarawa United.

In a related development, host broadcasters of the Glo Premier League, SuperSport has said the repeat broadcast of the match between Kano Pillars and Sunshine Stars will start airing from 00.50 am on SuperSport Select and SuperSport Select Go.

It will also be aired on Tuesday at 2pm and 1am on SuperSport 9 while on Wednesday, it will be broadcast at 8am and 00.45am on SuperSport Select and SuperSport Select Go.

The broadcast schedule will continue on Thursday, March 20 on SuperSport 9 at 4.50pm and 00.50am while on Friday, the final repeat broadcast will be at 11.00am and 00.50am on SuperSport 9.

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