Australia’s Woodbridge and Woodforde to receive ITF’s highest honour

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The ITF today announced that legendary Australian doubles pair Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde will receive the ITF’s highest accolade, the Philippe Chatrier Award, at the 2014 ITF World Champions Dinner on Tuesday 3 June in Paris at the Pavillon d’Armenonville.

The Philippe Chatrier Award, named after the former ITF President, was introduced in 1996 and is awarded each year for outstanding contributions to the game of tennis. Woodbridge and Woodforde become the first ever doubles team to receive the award, joining fellow Australian honorees Rod Laver, Margaret Court and Neale Fraser. Billie Jean King, John McEnroe, Martina Navratilova and 2013 Award winner the All England Club are among the other former recipients.

Woodbridge and Woodforde, known as the ‘Woodies’, enjoyed outstanding results together between 1990 and 2000, winning 11 Grand Slam men’s doubles titles and a total of 61 tournaments. Their greatest success came at Wimbledon, where they are the only men’s partnership in the Open era to win five straight titles (1993-97), and hold the Open era record of six championships.

The Woodies won the Olympic gold medal at Atlanta 1996, and four years later took silver in Sydney. In Davis Cup, they compiled a 14-2 record together, scoring the vital doubles point that helped Australia defeat France for the title in 1999. The pair completed their set of Grand Slam titles when they won the elusive Roland Garros crown in 2000, shortly before adding their sixth Wimbledon title. By Woodforde’s retirement after the 2000 Olympics they had a 508-137 career record.

The Woodies’ dedication on court has been followed by dedication in their varied roles as coaches, commentators, administrators and mentors. They will be honoured both for their achievements and their commitment to the sport they love.

ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti said: “Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde were unbeatable in their prime, in a nine-year span winning 11 Grand Slam titles, Olympic gold and silver medals, and helping Australia to Davis Cup glory. They continue their commitments to tennis in a variety of capacities and are being honoured for their outstanding – and ongoing – contributions to the game.”

Mark Woodforde said: “It is such an honour to receive the Philippe Chatrier Award, named after a true pioneer of world tennis. I’m moved so deeply that Todd and I will be joining such grand champions and following in the footsteps of the other Aussies to receive this accolade. To be the first doubles team honoured not only highlights the success of the Woodies on court but also recognises our continual involvement with this cherished sport via our international media duties as well as our coaching and player development roles back home in Australia.”

Todd Woodbridge added: “This is such an honour and totally unexpected. I still get enormous joy out of tennis and being able to give back from my experiences is a pleasure in both coaching and broadcasting.”

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Team Lagos Clears 30 of 32 Gold medals at Swimming event of DAWN Games

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Team Lagos completed almost completed a clean sweep of medals of the swimming event at the Dawn games, Lagos 2014.

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The swimming pool of the Teslim Balogun Stadium Surulere, was the venue of this Epoch making event, and a sizeable crowd was on hand to witness history being made.

The Lagos team won 30 Gold medals from a possible 32 with 27 Silver and 3 Bronze.

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Morayo Okungbowa

Star of the swimming event and arguably star of the tournament is Okungbowa Morayo of Lagos, who won 10 Gold 1 Silver and 2 Bronze medals to a make a total of 13 medals, the highest haul of medals by any individual athlete at the DAWN Games so far

This achievement will definitely be impossible for any other athlete at this games to surpass or even match.

Oyo came 2nd on the Swimming medals table with 2 Gold medals 3 Silver and 22 bronze medals, while Ogun state came 3rd with no Gold, 2 Silver and 7 bronze medals.

The kind of display put by Morayo Okungbowa and other young athletes at the DAWN Games only confirms the fact that this country is blessed with a lot of talent and its grassroots competitions like this that we need to harness the various hidden talents across the Nation

Sola Rogers.

Kaduna to host Eaglets- Egypt friendly

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has explained the rationale behind the choice of Ahmadu Bello Stadium, in Kaduna as the venue for next week’s friendly match between the Golden Eaglets and their Egyptian counterparts.

The double-header contest will take place on May 28 and 30 as part of both teams’ preparation towards their forthcoming 2015 CAN Under-1 qualifying match slated for July.

Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, Director of Competitions at the NFF, explained that the choice of Kaduna was strategic, adding that the opportunity would allow the Golden Eaglets to play under different conditions and atmosphere since their crucial competitive matches are around the corner.

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“The NFF decided to take the Golden Eaglets to Kaduna since work is still going on at the Abuja National Stadium and we want the match to be played under a conducive environment in order to keep exposing the players to different situations,” he said.

He added: “The people of Kaduna are so desirous of watching the National Under-17 team since they won the FIFA Under-17 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates last year.

” So allowing the new team being put together to play in Kaduna is symbolic and we are confident that the fans would turn out en mass to support them.”

Meanwhile, the Golden Eaglets as well as their Egyptian counterparts would expectedly travel down to Kaduna on Monday.

The Egyptian Football Federation(EFA) had in an earlier correspondence with the NFF hinted that a of 33 persons made up of 25
players and eight officials would touch down at Abuja International Airport aboard Egypt Air Number 877 en route to Kaduna. The Golden Eaglets would also visit Cairo in July for a two-match friendly against the Egyptians.

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‘Masquerades’ invade Eaglets’ training

Golden Eaglets’ goalkeeping training on Wednesday was turned to a theatre of fun as two ‘masquerades’ were imported by coach Emeka Amadi.

The masquerades patterned in black and white colours were actually goalkeepers’ dummies which according to Amadi, was to stimulate interest as well as proper training of his wards.

” The goalkeeper’s dummy is nothing new because it is used in major top clubs and academies abroad unfortunately it is not yet a common feature here,” said German-trained Amadi who was recently at Hannover 96 to update his knowledge.

“The dummies are essential part of the training as it helps in sharpening reflexes and agility.

“The beauty of the goalkeeper’s dummy is that you can actually collide with it without getting injured unlike the plastic type that was in
vogue in the past and which is prone to accident.

” You can see how excited the goalkeepers were at the training today and we are going to bring more innovation to our training in order to improve the quality of our team,” he added.

The lads described their rumbling with the dummies on the first day as highly exciting and entertaining.

“Training today was very interesting,” noted Goalkeeper Benjamin Amos, who was voted as the best at the WAFU B Under-17 Tournament in Togo.”It was a new experience to all of us but we enjoyed every bit of it.”

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Coach Amadi With the “dummies”

$1.4 million in prize money up for grabs in Nassau – IAAF World Relays

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A total prize purse of USD $1.4million will be paid by the IAAF for the men’s and women’s races at the inaugural IAAF World Relays in Nassau, The Bahamas, on 24-25 May.

Team prize money for each race (all amounts are in US$)

1st – 50,000

2nd – 30,000

3rd – 20,000

4th – 12,000

5th – 10,000

6th – 8000

7th – 6000

8th – 4000

World record bonus

Any team who breaks a world record in Nassau will be awarded a USD $50,000 bonus by the IAAF.

The current ratified world records are:

Men

4x100m: Jamaica 36.84, 11 August 2012, London

4x200m: United States 1:18.68, 17 April 1994, Walnut

4x400m: United States 2:54.29, 22 August 1993, Stuttgart

4x800m: Kenya 7:02.43, 25 August 2006, Brussels

4x1500m: Kenya 14:36.23, 4 September 2009, Brussels

Women

4x100m: United States 40.82, 10 August 2012, London

4x200m: United States 1:27.46, 29 April 2000, Philadelphia

4x400m: USSR 3:15.17, 1 October 1988, Seoul

4x800m: USSR 7:50.17, 5 August 1984, Moscow

4x1500m: Kenya 17:05.72*, 26 April 2014, Nairobi

NOTE: The payment of all prize money is dependent upon athletes undergoing and clearing the usual anti-doping procedures.

Timetable

Saturday 24 May (times are local; GMT -4 hours):

17:30 Men’s 4x200m heats

17:49 Women’s 4x100m heats

18:14 Men’s 4x800m final

18:38 Women’s 4x400m heats

19:12 Men’s 4x400m heats

19:43 Women’s 4x1500m final

20:15 Men’s 4x200m final

20:33 Women’s 4x100m final B

20:42 Women’s 4x100m final

Sunday 25 May

17:30 Women’s 4x200m heats

17:49 Men’s 4x100m heats

18:14 Women’s 4x400m final B

18:26 Women’s 4x400m final

18:46 Men’s 4x1500m final

19:17 Women’s 4x800m final

19:41 Men’s 4x400m final B

19:52 Men’s 4x400m final

20:11 Women’s 4x200m final

20:28 Men’s 4x100m final B

20:37 Men’s 4x100m final

*subject to the usual ratification procedures

OKON NAMES 18 FALCONS FOR RWANDA

Two foreign based professionals Onome Ebi and Desire Oparanozie topped the list of 18 member Super Falcons players named by coach Edwin Okon for the Africa women championship (AWC) qualifier against Rwanda this weekend in Kigali.

Conspicously missing in the team that is expected to travel Wednesday to Rwanda via Addis Ababa are Gloria Ofoegbu, Lilian Cole,Uchechi Sunday and Glory Iroka.

Surprised inclusion in the squad are captain of the Under-17 women that got to quarter-final of the of the recently concluded FIFA U-17 World Cup, Chiwendu Ihezuo and two members of the Under-20 women team the Falconets Asisat Oshoala and Yetunde Adeboyejo also made the squad.

Executive Committee member of the Nigeria Football Federation, Dili Onyedinma will lead out the team that comprises four coaches and six officials.

The team will depart Nnamdi Azikiwe International airport Abuja on Wednesday afternoon aboard an Ethiopian airline flight to Addis-Ababa before connecting a flight to Kigali.

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The full squad:

GOALKEEPERS: Precious Dede,Ibubeleye Whyte

DEFENDERS: Onome Ebi,Blessing Edoho,Ngozi Ebere,Mariam Ibrahim,Josephine Chukwunonye

MIDFIELDERS: Evelyn Nwabuoku,Onyinyechi Ohadugha,Ngozi Okobi,Azizat Oshoala,Ceceilia Nku,Chioma Wogu,Stella Mbachu,Esther Sunday.

STRIKERS: Desire Oparanozie,Chiwendu Ihezuo,Yetunde Adeboyejo

CAR PROMOTES RUGBY IN AFRICA WITH ” GET INTO RUGBY” CAMPAIGN

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Training in Burkina Faso

Another very busy month for this project with 23 registered unions to date amongst which 22 have seen their planning approved by CAR and have started their projects or are on the verge of doing so in the next few weeks.

The first step is a 3 day training course delivered to the unions by the CAR development officers. The next thing is to introduce rugby to a maximum of boys and girls, to let them practice and stay with rugby by providing opportunities to learn further in clubs.

In April, Henry Kemp – project manager and national technical director in Namibia – organised a big training session with the intention of reaching out to 50 schools and 8000 participants in 2014 compared to 8 shcools and 4450 participants in 2013.

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Training in Namibia

Another 3 day training course happened in Burkina Faso facilitated by Charles Yapo CAR RDO Western Africa. And again in South Africa with project manager Steph Nel.

On the field, games and sessions have been organized in Tunis, Tunisia and in Madina, Ghana following training courses delivered by Mohamed Dermouni – CAR Development Officer.

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Play phase in Ghana

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Play phase in Tunisia.

DAWN Games 2014: Lagos dominates gymnastics, as football enters semis

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Team Lagos were outstanding in the Gymnastics events of the maiden South-West Secondary Schools Championship tagged DAWN Games 2014 as they won 17 medals to top the medal table of the sport decided at Mobolaji Johnson Sports Complex, Rowe Park, Yaba.

The breakdown of medals won showed that the Ortega Akintola inspired Team Lagos won 8 gold, 6 silver and. 3 bronze. Team Ekiti were second with 2 gold, 3 silver and 2 bronze medal. Ogun were third with 1 gold, 5 bronze while Team Oyo could only win 3 silver and 2 bronze to claim the fourth position.

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Football event which enters semi final stage on Wednesday with Team Lagos taking on Team Oyo as early as 8am at Agege Stadium, while the second semi final scheduled for the afternoon will involve Team Ogun and Osun State.

Finals of events such as Basketball, Volleyball, Swimming, Scrabble and Chess will take place at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, Lagos.

Meanwhile, chairman, Technical Committee of Lagos State Football Association, Dotun Coker, has said that the football event at the DAWN Games has shown that there is positive and future in the development of football in the Western part of Nigeria.

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Coker, said the tournament which was the initiative of DAWN Commission and designed for Secondary School students within the South West zone would create an enabling environment to harness young sports talents in the region.

The Chairman, LSFA Technical Committee, said he had saddled the chairman of Ikeja Football Coaches Council, Rafiu Taiwo, with the responsibility of writing a technical report and also to identify the best 18 football players for the region ahead of future tournaments.

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According to him, Coach Taiwo is expected to submit his report to him for ratification and easy passage to the DAWN Commission.

He detested the lackadaisical attitude of the Lagos State Football Coaches Association for not been present at Agege Stadium where football is taking place, stressing that their presence would enable them to present the LSFA a detailed technical report based on their assessment of each participating team.

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Flying Eagles target another win against Tanzania

Flying Eagles players have said they hope to complete a home and away win over the Ngorongoro Heroes of Tanzania on Saturday in Kaduna to advance to the third round of the 2015 African Youth Championship qualifiers.

The Nigeria U20s won the first leg 2-0 in Dar es Salaam about a fortnight ago.

“We are not relaxing on the result from the first match. For us, Saturday’s match is a different game altogether and we want to win it,” said striker Alhassan Ibrahim aka Mu-azam.

“We respect the Tanzanians, but we are a better team and we will prove this on Saturday.”

Mustapha Abdullahi added: “It’s an important game and we will fight to win it.

“We will not take anything for granted.”

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In 2012, Nigeria also eliminated Tanzania from the African Youth Championship.

The Flying Eagles won 2-1 in Dar es Salaam before they again won 2-0 in Ilorin.

The Flying Eagles have endured several injury problems from the first leg, but all squad players including Kelechi Iheanacho, Wilfred Ndidi and Izu Omego have since bounced back to full fitness.

After training twice on Monday, the Flying Eagles will now train only once leading up to the match on Saturday at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium.

Kick-off time is 4pm.

ETEBO BACK FOR WOLVES

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Warri Wolves Football Club will have the services of prolific scorer, Oghenekaro Etebo as the slug it out with Crown Football Club in week 14 of the Globacom Premier League in Ibadan on Wednesday.

Etebo who was the highest goal scorer for the team last season has not featured for the team in the league this season as a result of his trial in Italy.

However, the diminutive midfielder who has played for the home based Eagles is back and rearing to go.

According to the Media Manager of Warri Wolves, Moses Etu, Etebo looked sharper than before in the two days training that he took part in and the Coaches did not waste time in picking for the cracker against Crown FC.

“I can confirm to you that Etebo Oghenekaro is back and will feature for Warri Wolves on Wednesday against Crown FC in Ibadan. it is a good thing that he is joining us now that we are doing everything possible to consolidate our position. He is a good player and a delight to watch, scoring goals at ease. We are all excited to have him back and I know that he is going to terrorize defenders with his sublime skills”

Speaking on his return, Etebo thanked all his fans who have been asking after him and assured them that he will make up for his absence by helping the team to where they should be in the league.

” I am happy to be back to my team and it is my hope to help the team grow and position them where they belong”.

Sharks –Captain Odinga Gives Out Free Tickets and Glo Recharge Cards

Captain Sharks fc Odinga Odinga has promised to give out fifty match tickets to the first fifty fans that will grace the Sharks football club stadium for Wednesday’s encounter against the flying antelope of Nigerian football Rangers international of Enugu.

Odinga said this week largesse will be different from the previous free match tickets because it comes with a prize.

The icing on the cake for the fans is that not only will the first fifty enjoy the free tickets, the first ten fans with blue tops (a jersey,t-shirt or conventional shirt) which is the traditional colour of Sharks fc will also win Glo recharge cards according to the legendary captain.

Odinga said this is to say thank you to the fans for not withdrawing their support following the ugly incident after the Sharks versus Enyimba match in port Harcourt and to urge them to continue to drum the team to victory.

“You know our color is blue that is why I have decided to give the first ten fans that will wear a blue top to the stadium a Glo recharge cards”

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“The fans have been very supportive even in the face of what happened after our match against Enyimba they still came in their numbers against Giwa fc that is to say they believe in our cause”

“And the only way to appreciate the fans for their support and ask for more is to season the free match tickets with free Glo recharge cards”. Odinga stressed

Odinga assured the fans that the team is working hard not to lose ground and appealed for their continue support so that they will have something to celebrate at the end of the season.

“Our technical adviser and everybody on the team is committed to winning a major silverware this season and I know that with your support we will win and dance at the end of the season”. He said

Sharks fc has been at the top of the log for six week running and is in good stead to extend their lead at the top of the log to seven weeks with a win against Rangers.

USA men collect Volleyball World Championship spot

United States clinched their spot at the FIVB World Championship in Poland with a victory against a resilient Guatemala

The United States earned a berth to the 2014 FIVB World Championship by sweeping Guatemala 25-18, 25-22, 25-15 in the Men’s NORCECA World Championship Qualification Tournament Third Round Pool O that concluded Sunday evening at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Guatemala will compete in the final round of NORCECA World Championship, joining the three second-place finishers in other pools to determine NORCECA’s fifth and final team in the 24-country FIVB World Championship.

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David Lee sparked the U.S. with 11 points, including four blocks. Carson Clark matched his total with 11 points in victory. Andy Leonardo led Guatemala with 10 points.

The U.S. held a 5-2 advantage in blocks and a 36-24 margin in kills. Both teams notched six aces in the match.

The Americans did not lose a set in the qualification tournament, yielding an average of just 11.67 points per set during pool play.

In the bronze medal match, St. Lucia defeated Haiti 25, 25-23, 18-25, 25-21, 15-12.

Joseph Clercent sparked St. Lucia’s comeback with 21 points and Julian Bissette added 20 points. Volvick Dupuy tallied 16 points to lead Haiti. Teammate Ralph Adolph scored 13.

United States Captain Sean Rooney: “In the finals you have to expect that a team not only will play their best against us but also will be more aggressive than last time. Last time we beat them pretty handily. Their only choice is to step up their game from the service line and be more aggressive in attack and that’s what they did. For us, we had to turn it on right away in order to compete and beat them the way we wanted to.”

United States Head Coach Sean Speraw: “It was probably a little tougher than we expected. In retrospect, maybe we should have. Teams are going to come in with nothing to lose and swing as hard as they can. Guatemala played great and we should give them a lot of credit. They came in with a lot of enthusiasm. They made a lot of great plays. They did some different things that we didn’t see in the first match. We didn’t play our best volleyball but we got the win so off to World Champs we go.”

Guatemala Head Coach Alvinzi Pelaez: “I am really happy. We really gave everyone a good show against the USA. We know the final score was 3-0, but it was a hard-fought 3-0 match. We always fight to the bitter end in each set. This match, and this tournament as a whole, will help develop our team better to be the best in our region. We are ready for the next tournament.”

IOC President Thomas Bach meets the King of Norway ahead of visit to Lillehammer…

IOC President Thomas Bach meets the King of Norway ahead of visit to Lillehammer Youth Olympic Games organisers

The President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach, today met His Majesty the King of Norway, Harald V, at the Royal Castle in Oslo, ahead of a visit to Lillehammer for meetings with the local organisers of the Lillehammer 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games.

President Bach spoke at length with the King about the second edition of the Winter Youth Olympic Games (YOG), which will take place in Lillehammer from 12 to 21 February 2016. They also discussed the performance of Norwegian athletes at the Sochi Olympic Winter Games, as well as Olympic Agenda 2020, a strategic plan for the future of the Olympic Movement which will be finalised by the end of this year.

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Bjorn Daehlie and IOC President Thomas Bach Photo Credit IOC MEDIA

“We discussed the Lillehammer Youth Olympic Games, which will use only pre-existing venues, and the legacy these Games will bring to the region and the country,” said President Bach. “We also discussed the Culture and Education Programme, which is an integral part of the Games and helps to develop the Olympic values in all the participants.”

President Bach was accompanied by Norwegian IOC member Gerhard Heiberg.

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NOC President Borre Rognlien, IOC member Gerhard Heiberg and the IOC President Thomas Bach (L to R) Photo Credit IOC

Earlier in the day the IOC President visited ‘Olympiatoppen’, the NOC’s high performance sport centre to meet with young athletes training for both the Olympic Games and Youth Olympic Games. Joining the IOC President were IOC Members Gerhard Heiberg and Angela Ruggiero, who is also Chair of the Lillehammer 2016 IOC Coordination Commission.

On Tuesday, President Bach will meet representatives from the Lillehammer 2016 Organising Committee and go on a venue tour. Existing infrastructure from the Lillehammer 1994 Olympic Winter Games will be used for the Lillehammer 2016 YOG, obviating the need for the construction of any new venues and creating a further legacy from those Games. They will also visit the site of the Youth Olympic Village (YOV), which is being built with a subsidy of EUR 13.5 million from the IOC, who will also cover the travel and accommodation costs of all attending athletes and officials in the YOV during their stay which will be approximately EUR 4 million.

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