Connect with us

Olympics

Nigeria’s Falcons, Cameroon Lionesses Fly The Same Aircraft To Abuja For Titanic Battle –

Published

on

Nigeria’s Falcons, Cameroon Lionesses Fly The Same Aircraft To Abuja For Titanic Battle -

Perhaps turbulence in the air was barely averted as two long-standing continental rivals – Super Falcons of Nigeria and Lionessess of Cameroon crammed themselves into the same aircraft from Douala to Abuja on Sunday.

Both will have a winner-takes-all confrontation this Monday evening to determine who goes for the final qualifying ticket for the Paris 2024 women’s football event.

Last Friday, they played goalless in Douala in an encounter the Nigerians still rue their disallowed goal and numerous scoring chances that were lost.

But Head Coach Randy Waldrum and Captain Rasheedat Ajibade are confident Nigeria’s Super Falcons will overcome the challenge and reach the final round of the African qualifying series for this year’s Women’s Olympic Football Tournament in France.

 

Advertisement

Waldrum led his ladies to a scoreless draw in the first leg in Douala on Friday, with the Nigerians rueing a disallowed goal by Jennifer Echegini early in the second half.

“We played a good game in Douala and we are confident of our chances to get the ticket in Abuja. It was never going to be easy having only a few days together with the girls, but we will make the best of the opportunities that we are able to create on home ground on Monday,” said Waldrum.

 

Ajibade, who scored the lone Nigeria goal that threw Cameroon’s Lionesses out of the Women Africa Cup of Nations in Morocco 19 months ago, and also netted two of the goals that eliminated Ethiopia in the second round of these qualifying series, says the Falcons have no fear of whatever the arch rivals can bring to the turf of the MKO Abiola National Stadium.

 

Advertisement

“Our objective remains getting the Olympics ticket. Personally, I have never played at the Olympics and that is the case with an overwhelming majority of players in this team. We are determined to take this opportunity. We have another 90 minutes to make our claim to the final-round ticket and we are focused on a positive result.”

 

However, Coach Jean-Baptiste Bisseck is also confident of the ability of his Lionesses to turn the table against the nine-time African champions in Nigeria’s administrative capital.

 

“We will play on the Abuja field as if we are playing at home. Cameroon will not entertain any fear. The Lionesses are prepared to win and make progress.”

Advertisement

 

Both teams will compete on a clean slate on Monday evening having battled to a barren ending in Douala, with the winner most likely to be up against reigning African champions South Africa for a place in Paris.

 

Nigeria’s Falcons featured at the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament in Australia in 2000, Greece in 2004 and China in 2008, but have not qualified since their outing in China 16 years ago. Cameroon’s only previous outing was at the London 2012 Olympics.

 

Advertisement

Banyana Banyana bounced Tanzania 3-0 in Dar es Salaam and should have a cruise at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit.

 

Zambia’s Copper Queens put behind them the harrowing experience of watching a team mate die in camp, to shock Ghana’s Black Queens 1-0 in West Africa, and have the strength, stamina and motivation to hold their own against the visitors in Ndola on Monday.

 

Tunisia’s senior girls have a mountain to climb in Rabat, when they confront fast-improving and highly-motivated Morocco’s Atlas Lionesses who beat them 2-1 in front of their own fans on Friday. The winner on aggregate will be eligible to square up to the winner between Zambia and Ghana.

Advertisement

 

Only two tickets are available for Africa in the 16-nation Women’s Olympic Football Tournament.

 

For the Nigeria/Cameroon clash in Abuja, which kicks off at 4pm, CAF has appointed Namibian official Ndemugwanitha Twanyanyukwa as referee, with her compatriots Eveline Augustinus, Olivia Amukuu and Vistoria Shangula in the roles of assistant referee 1, assistant referee 2 and fourth official respectively.

 

Advertisement

Alice Wangari Kimani from Kenya will serve as referee assessor while Christine Ziga from Ghana will be the commissioner.

 

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Olympics

Nigeria picks another Paris 2024 slot in table tennis

Published

on

The number of Nigerian table tennis players heading to Paris 2024 Olympic Games increased to three after Fatimo Bello defeated Algeria’s Lynda Loghraibi 4-2 in the final of the second stage of the African Olympic Qualification Tournament at bK Arena in Kigali, Rwanda.

Bello failed to qualify through the first stage of qualifiers after losing 4-1 to Cameroon’s Sarah Hanffou but she returned stronger to win the sole slot in the second stage of qualifiers of the women’s singles.

Bello will join her compatriots – Olajide Omotayo and Offiong Edem to compete in the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

Also, Algeria’s Mehdi Bouloussa who missed out from the first stage of the qualifiers atone for his defeat to pick the last slot in the men’s singles of the qualification tournament.

The qualified players from Kigali qualifiers include Nigeria’s trio of Bello, Omotayo and Edem while Cameroon’s Sarah Haffou picked her tickets to third Olympics appearance while Fabio Rakotoarimanana became the first Madagascan table tennis player to qualify for the Olympic Games after picking the second slot in the first stage of the qualifiers. Mehdi Bouloussa of Algeria secured the final slot in the men’s singles.

Advertisement

Bouloussa, who narrowly lost 3-4 to Wassim Essid of Tunisia in the quarterfinal round of the first stage, returned to winning ways to pick the final ticket in the men’s singles of the qualification tournament.

To win the second stage of the qualifiers, Bouloussa defeated Saheed Idowu of Congo Brazzaville. (16-14, 11-4, 11-8, 11-4) to pick his maiden ticket to the Olympic Games.

Continue Reading

Olympics

Nigeria all set for Olympic Day celebrations

Published

on

"Engaging in exercises promotes health fitness" Popoola highlights. Pictured is Nigeria's Tobi Amusan in the women's hurdles in Tokyo. GETTY IMAGES

Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) Secretary General Babatunde Popoola says the committee, in collaboration with the Nigeria Sport For All Commission, is set for the country’s 2024 edition of Olympic Day celebration on 29 June.

Olympic Day is an annual international event that takes place in the month of June that is aimed at people of all ages and abilities to experience the magic of the Olympic Games in their own communities. Popoola says the event highlights the benefits of physical activity and for people to learn about Olympic values and practise them in their everyday life.

“Engaging in exercises promotes health fitness for individuals; jogging and walking burns calories, tones muscles, shapes your body and helps de-stress the mind.” NOC’s Secretary General stated. 

“Olympic Day has always been celebrated by NOC with fanfare nationwide and this year’s programme will not be an exception as many states are already preparing to organise the programme. 

“The states that have so far registered to participate are Anambra, Gombe, Taraba, Bayelsa, Imo, and Ondo, while others are still being expected to indicate their interest in the programme,” he continued.

Advertisement

-insidethegames

Continue Reading

Olympics

Opeyori becomes Nigeria’s first back-to-back qualifier as Badminton Olympic qualifiers are finalised

Published

on

Anuoluwapo Opeyori is one of the 173 badminton players who have qualified for a spot at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. His qualification means that he is the first Nigerian player to qualify for two Olympic Games. He featured at the delayed Tokyo 2020 and will thus made a back-to-back appearance.

The list of qualifiers has been released by the Badminton World Federation (BWF). This includes 166 regular quota places (83 men and 83 women), three universality places from the IOC Tripartite Commission (two men and one woman), plus an additional place for IOC Refugee Olympic Team athlete Dorsa Yavarivata,  whose participation was confirmed earlier this month in a special announcement by the IOC

Opeyori dominated Africa in the men’s singles from 2019 till date winning four African Championship titles and two African Games titles.

An elated Francis Orbih, President of Badminton Federation of Nigeria (BFN)  remarked on Saturday that Anuoluwapo Opeyori has broken the jinx in Nigeria badminton by making it to the Olympic Games in Paris.

Orbih said Opeyori’s qualification shows that the current leadership of BFN’s target of producing world class players is beginning to manifest.

Advertisement

He revealed that BFN will leave no stone unturned in supporting the dreams and aspirations of the young players in making podium finishes.

Orbih said, “History has been made in badminton as Anuoluwapo Opeyori has secured a spot at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games with the release made by the Badminton World Federation (BWF).

“I am excited and full of joy because Anuoluwapo Opeyori is the first Nigerian badminton player to feature in the men’s singles at the Olympic Games and also the first Nigerian to attend two Olympics and back to back.

“Three years ago, it was Dorcas Adesokan in the women’s singles and Opeyori with his partner Godwin Olofua in the men’s doubles that made it to the Olympic Games in Tokyo. Today, Anuoluwapo Opeyori will represent Nigeria in the men’s singles; the leadership of BFN and Nigeria are proud of him”.

Orbih charged Anuoluwapo Opeyori not to relent but continue to train and attain top form ahead of the Olympic Games.

Advertisement

He said, “I want to urge Anuoluwapo Opeyori to continue training hard for the Games; we are going to ensure he attends training tours before the Olympic Games”

Continue Reading

Most Viewed