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2020 Lalong rewards Plateau’s medalists at Edo 2020

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By Gistflash News

July 20, 2021

Gov. Simon Lalong of Plateau has rewarded winners of gold medals for the state at the 20th National Sports Festival (NSF) in Benin with one million Naira each.

The governor announced the reward on Monday at the Government House in Jos, during a dinner organised to honour Plateau’s participants of the sports festival which was held in April.

He added that silver medalists were to receive N700,000 and bronze medallists N500,000, while the coaches of medal-winning athletes or teams were given N300,000 each.

In his remarks, Lalong said the reward was part of efforts to motivate them for their good performance.

He added that the event was also an opportunity to celebrate their achievements at Edo 2020 where they emerged as “the state with the highest number of medals in the North-Central zone.”

“The Plateau contingent took the 13th position and came home with 37 medals, made up of eight gold, 13 silver and 16 bronze.

“Although our aim was to emerge top, we are nevertheless proud of the efforts of our contingent who gave their best.

“Your performance reaffirms the sporting prowess our athletes have been known for over the years, having exhibited a high level of competence, endurance, versatility, professionalism and discipline,” the governor said.

He said his administration has sponsored sportsmen and women to various championships and tournaments, which resulted in winning a total of 170 gold, 157 silver and 170 bronze medals.

Lalong stated that his administration was committed to developing sports infrastructure in spite of paucity of funds in the state.

He added that younger athletes would also be employed soon to replace ageing ones.

“A consortium has been consulted, to assess the state of the Rwang Pam Stadium with a view to overhauling it, while grassroots sports development would be put in view in the state.

“I have directed the Commissioners for Sports and Education, as well as Local Government and Chieftancy Affairs, to work together in restoring and reinvigorating the various school competitions, community games and other engagements which have huge benefits for talent discovery,” the governor said.

He pointed out that developing sports in the state would help to engage the youths and discourage them from involvement in crime.

“Sports is critical in consolidating peace, through uniting people across ethnic, religious and political divides,” Laling said.

He urged sports men and women, as role models in the society, not to indulge in drug abuse and other social vices inimical to their well-being and the society.

Earlier in his remarks, the Commissioner for Sports, Victor Lapang, thanked Lalong for creating the enabling environment which facilitated the good performance of the state’s participants at the sports festival.

Responding on behalf of the medalists, the Plateau team captain, Ifeoma Dennis, thanked the governor for his kind gesture of reward, while promising to perform better in subsequent competitions.

She however appealed to the governor to review their salaries to meet current economic indices, while incorporating other athletes into the state’s payroll.

NAN

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Debutant Omotayo says he struggled with ambience of Tokyo Olympics

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By Gistflash News

July 29, 2021

Olajide Omotayo, one of Team Nigeria’s table tennis stars, on Wednesday said he struggled with the ambience of the Tokyo Olympics in his first game against Tiago Apolonia of Portugal.

Omotayo, who is participating in his first Olympics, lost 0-4 to the Portuguese in the first round of the men’s singles event of the competition last Saturday.

Speaking from Tokyo, the 26-year-old told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) he started the game well but struggled to control his emotions later.

“I started very good but later I found myself crying.

“ It is probably because this is my first Olympics and the feeling was too much for me to handle. I couldn’t get over it until the third set and it affected my performance.

“Probably, the next Olympics won’t be like this,’’ he assured.

The table tennis player also said he was looking forward to attending more tournaments ahead of Paris 2024.

He also said he is hopeful that seven-time Olympian Segun Toriola would be part of his coaching team.

“I am sure he can help me train better ahead of future events.”

NAN

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Ogunbanwo wins women’s 100m freestyle heat at Tokyo Olympics

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By Gistflash News

July 28, 2021

Abiola Ogunbanwo stunned the pool on Wednesday at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre to win heat 1 of the women’s 100 metres freestyle event of the 2020 Olympic Games’ swimming competition.

Running from lane 3 in the four-competitor heat, Ogunbanwo emerged st the finish lane after 59.74 seconds to qualify for the event’s semi-finals.

The 17-year-old who is based in Australia finished 0.27 seconds ahead of Andela Antunovic of Montenegro to win the race.

Antunovic placed second with 1:00.01, while Gaurika Singh of Nepal was third in 1:00.11.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Ogunbanwo’s time is good enough for her to advance as the best 16 swimmers from the seven heats are expected to qualify.

NAN

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Aruna crashes out after first game at Tokyo Olympics

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By Gistflash News

July 27, 2021

Africa’s highest-ranked player Quadri Aruna on Tuesday crashed out of the men’s singles event of the table tennis competition at the ongoing Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Aruna who reached the quarter-finals of the event at the Rio Games in 2016 could not go far this time around as he lost 2-4 in the third round.

He lost to Brazil’s Gustavo Tsuboi at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium 15-13 9-11 6-11 11-7 7-11 6-11.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that his exit has brought a sad end to Team Nigeria’s campaign in the sport at this Games.

His three teammates in the sport —— Funke Oshonaike, Offiong Edem, Olajide Omotayo —- have all been eliminated.

Nigeria did not qualify for the doubles events.

NAN

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