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AFN names 42 athletes for African U18 & U20 Championships

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The Athletics Federation of Nigerian (AFN), has named 42 athletes to compete for honours at the combined 4th African U18 Championships and the 15th African U20 championships scheduled to start this weekend in Ndola, Zambia.

The list is made up of 23 U18 girls and boys as well as 19 U20 men and women.

Nigeria U20 women’s record holder, Tima Godbless is spearheading Nigeria’s challenge for podium places in the U20 category while National Sports Festival 100m and 200m silver medallist, Faith Okwose tops the list of 23 U18 athletes listed for the Championships.

Some others listed in the U18 category are Ewa Peace, Eyakpoeyan Justina Tiana, Saibu Yetunde Olayinka, Israel Okon Sunday, Monday Ebuka, Francis, James Musa Jimoh, Justin Osigwe and Abujei Chinedu.

For the U20, Sule Rejoice Adijatu, Oke Opeyemi Deborah, Usenbor Osaretin Joy, Bright Ada Princess, Ajayi Kanyinsola, Adebisi Musbau, Musa Nurain Kola, Unorji Kingsley Emeka and Caleb Joshua also made the team.

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AFN Technical Director, Samuel Onikeku, said that the federation has selected the best athletes that will do Nigeria proud in Ndola and follow in the footsteps of their predecessors who launched their way to stardom at the Championships.

‘The AFN has selected the best crop of young athletes who will not only be medal contenders in Ndola but will grow to become one of the best in their events,’ said Onikeku, a former Nigeria international athlete.

Onikeku revealed that the last edition of the combined championships held four years ago in Abidjan, Ivory Coast produced stars who have grown to be Nigeria and African record holders today.

“Enoch Adegoke cut his teeth at these championships when he ran a 10.29 Championships record in the 100m in Cote d’Ivoire four years ago and two years after that he became the first Nigerian man to run in the final of the Olympics,’ said Onikeku who also revealed Favour Ofili sped to fame with double championships records in Cote d’Ivoire.

“Favour was exceptional in Cote d’Ivoire, setting two Championships records in the 200m (23.38) and 400m (52.28) events in the U18 category.

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“Today she is the African record holder in the 200m indoors and Nigeria’s 200m record holder outdoor.

“Rosemary Chukwuma successfully completed a sprint double in Ivory Coast in the U20 category and she is today the fastest over the two events so far this year.

“Javelin thrower set championships record of 74.71m to win the gold and he is today the Nigerian record holder in the event after breaking Pius Bazighe’s over two decades record,’ said Onikeku.

The AFN Technical Director is confident the athletes going to Ndola to compete are as good as those who went to Ivory four years ago and Nigerians should expect the birth of a new generation of superstars.

Meanwhile, Mrs Rosa Collins, a former Nigeria and African triple jump champion and record who is also the second Vice President of the AFN is the leader of delegation. 

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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.

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Athletics

Committees set up for Gombe Inter Secondary Schools Competition

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Gara Gombe’s firm firms agreement to upgrade Gombe University’s facilities

The chairman of the Main Organizing Committee of Gombe State Inter Secondary Schools Athletic Competition, Ahmed Shuaibu Gara Gombe has set up the supporting bodies for the maiden edition of the event.

  According to a press release, the Main Organizing Committee

 met at the Conference Hall of GOFCECON Hotel to prepare grounds for the hosting of the competition.

In a communique signed by Gara Gombe seven sub -committees were constituted as follows:

1.Technical, Ceremonial, Entertainment and Training

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a) Zainab Ishaku Adamu – Ministry of Youth and sports. Chairman

b) Sani Nuhu Abdullahi – NAATO.  Member

c) Isa Dauda Zambuk – GWG.  Member

d) Prince Simon Ayuba – GWG. Secretary

2. Media and Publicity

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a) Mal Haruna Zakari — GAA. Chairman

b) Uzor Odigbo — GWG. Member

c) Abraham Fashakin- North East Times. Member

d) Yakubu Maikudi – NTA Gombe.  Secretary

3. Accreditation and Security

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a) ASP Jauro Usman – NPF.  Chairman

b) SP I Jerry Ketos Turawa- Gostec.  Member

c) ASC Ishaku Ibrahim – NCDC. Secretary 

4. Accommodation, Transportation and Logistics Committee 

a) Mal Ali Doho – Ministry of Education . Chairman

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b) Mr Adamu Tanko – NAPPS.  Member

c) Obehi Kingspin -NAPPS.  Secretary

5. Medical and Welfare

a) Mohammed Abubakar Ahmed. Ministry of Health- Chairman

b) Red Cross – Member

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c) Stephen Agboh – NAPPS. Secretary

6. General Duties

a) Ahmed Shuaibu Gara Gombe – CEO. GWG. Chairman

b) Mal Musa Garba – GAA Secretary

7. Secretariat  

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a) Ibrahim Audu – Ministry of Education. Chairman

b) Mohammed Musa Baba – Northeast Times. Member

c) Haruna Isah Kalshingi – GWG.  Secretary.

He noted that capacity training would be compulsory for all secondary schools games masters prior to the competition.

In addition to the secondary schools in Gombe State, invitation will be extended to a private and public secondary schools across the six  states of the North East zone.

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There will be free accommodation and feeding for the schools that registered for the invitational relay. The competition is  categorised to feature cadets, youths and 65  under 20 registered schools and approximately.

In all, it is approximated that 2,367 school students will be involved.

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Athletics

Gara Gombe sets up committee for Gombe Inter Schools Athletics Championship

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Former chairman of Gombe State Football Association, Ahmed Shuaibu Gara-Gombe has inaugurated the Main Organising Committee for the Gombe State Inter Secondary Schools Athletics Championship.

Last year at the primary schools edition, over a thousand pupils featured in what was the maiden edition sponsored by Ahmed Shuaibu-Gara Gombe who is also the chairman of the Gombe State Athletics Association. It was held at the Pantami Stadium.

The maiden competition had boys and girls from 47 schools in attendance. On Friday, in fulfilment of a pledge to raise the bar, the organising committee was set up  at the Gombe State University as part of private investment in sports development.

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Athletics

Former 800m world champion Pierre-Ambroise Bosse banned for 16 months

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France’s former 800m world champion Pierre-Ambroise Bosse has received a 16-month ban from the French Anti-Doping Agency after missing three drug tests in the space of nine months. Bosse announced he was quitting athletics late last year due to recurrent injuries.

The sanction comes after the 31-year-old missed three drug tests between September 2022 and June 2023. Bosse had announced his retirement in December, seven months before the Paris 2024 Olympics. He had received notifications of breaches three times, with the period coinciding with his efforts to return to a high-level athletic performance despite grappling with a hamstring injury.

The initial breach occurred on 25 September 2022, when an anti-doping controller arrived at his residence to conduct a test within the athlete’s scheduled time slot, but Bosse was not available. He told French news outlet L’Équipe: “I was one foot in training, one foot on holiday.”

Bosse, who was eliminated at semi-final stage of the Tokyo Olympics, was enduring a thigh problem at the time. Following surgery in December 2022, Bosse embarked on a race against time with the aspiration of competing in his fourth Olympic Games in Paris.

On 1 May 2023, authorities tried to contact him again, but were unable to reach him during a time when he was with family in Nantes. “I wasn’t worried at that time because I had forgotten the previous one and so I thought I only had one. At that moment, I gave up completely.”

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Then a month later, a controller returned to his residence for another scheduled check, but the athlete was evidently absent. He was subsequently informed a few weeks later of a likely two-year suspension for failing to fulfill such obligations. 

Despite feeling dejected and shocked, Bosse attempted to defend himself by attributing the second violation to an issue with the absence of a doorbell.

“I made three mistakes, I accept. It’s true that I haven’t always been the best student when it comes to taking care of my location but, until then, it had never played any tricks on me. I know I should have been more serious but I would like to point out that I have been in the AFLD target group since 2012 and they have all my analyses.”

The 31-year-old was unable to recuperate following surgery on his right thigh last year and had been out of competition since April 2023.

Before his injury troubles he most notably secured fourth place in the 800m at the Rio Games back in 2016, and has yet to recapture the form that led to his crowning as the world champion over 800m in London in 2017. Bosse also got his hands on bronze at the European Championships in both 2012 and 2018.

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Since leaving his beloved sport behind, the Frenchman has starred in two reality TV shows in his homeland and focussed on his association combining sport and ecology which he launched with his friend and former international team-mate Bryan Cantero.

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