………‘Getting Contest From Elite To Platinum Level By 2024 Our Top Priority’ – Governor
…Dr. Hamzat, Sports Minister, Edo Deputy Governor Take Part In Marathon
At exactly 8:03am on Saturday, Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu crossed the finish line of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, ceremonially becoming the first athlete to breast the final ribbon.
Ethiopia’s runner, Ulfata Deresa, finished the 42-kilometre-long race 11 minutes after the Governor’s arrival and became the winner of the marathon’s 7th edition in the male category. He set a new finish time record of 2:11:58 and clinched $30,000 cash prize.
Sanwo-Olu took off from the State House in Marina, jogging through highways to Eko Atlantic City; he covered 8km distance in 40 minutes.
The Governor teamed up with his deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, Minister for Sport and Youth Development, Mr. Sunday Dare, Deputy Governor of Edo State, Comrade Philip Shuaibu, Lagos Head of Service, Mr. Hakeem Muri-Okunola, Chairman of Lagos State Sports Commission (LSSC), Shola Aiyepeku, and LSSC Director-General, Gafaar Bolowotan, among other top functionaries, to participate in the symbolic flag-off.
The marathon is an elite-labeled athletic fiesta held in second weekend in February of every year in Lagos and draws participation from local and international teams in the athletic ecosystem. It kicked off at 6am.
Sanwo-Olu said the event had consistently placed Lagos on the global radar, noting that the sporting fiesta had become a yearly ritual for athletes.
The Governor said the marathon embodied the spirit of Lagos, which teaches endurance, perseverance and resilience while toiling through physical strength.
He said: “One of the objectives of this event is to put Lagos on a global platform in the area of sport. Every year, new records are broken and the marathon gets bigger and better. As a Government, we are fully committed to sustaining this noble initiative and leading from the front to ensure that all participants, especially, our youths, get the best from this event.
“I acknowledge the great work which Access Bank and all other sponsors have put in to make this edition a success. The goal of the marathon is to use sport as a tool to promote physical fitness, togetherness, resilience and every virtue that can make human beings progress and live fulfilling life. This is the strongest rallying point for our youths and next edition would be better than what we have had this year.”
Sanwo-Olu pledged his Government would be relentless in raising the status of the marathon to a platinum-labeled event to attract more participants beyond Africa.
This, the Governor said, would open up the State’s economy for more foreign investment and boost tourism revenue for operators in the sector.
Sanwo-Olu said the decision of Kenyan Airways, a global aviation brand, to be part of the sponsors of the event this year indicated that the marathon would bring more tourism opportunities for Lagos if attained platinum level.
“We target the next two years to get this marathon to the platinum level, which means the event would be fully globalised. When this is achieved, every second weekend in February becomes calendarised for this marathon and Lagos would become a place to be and a destination for all sport enthusiasts,” the Governor said.
Presenting the prizes to the winners, Sanwo-Olu encouraged participants from Nigeria to brace themselves for first prizes in the next year’s edition.
Two Kenyans, David Barmasai and Naibe Emmanuel, finished as first and second runners-up in the male category, at 2:13:27 and 2:14:42 respectively. They got a cash prize of $20,000 and $15,000.
In the female category, Ethiopian marathoner, Dagne Siranesh Yirga, won the race at 2:33:50. She received $30,000 cash prize.
Alemenesh Herehaguta and Naomi Maiyo, both Kenyans, won $20,000 and $15,000 as first and second runners-up in the female category.
2022 U-20 WWC: Netherlands Defeat Falconets
Two first half goals by the Netherlands earned them a 2-0 win against Nigeria’s Falconets in Sunday’s quarter-finals of the 2022 FIFA U-20 women’s World Cup in Costa Rica.
It is a first ever appearance in the semi-finals for the Netherlands at the U-20 women’s World Cup.
The last time the Falconets made it to the semi-finals was at the 2014 edition in Canada.
Victory against the Falconets means the Netherlands will take on Spain in the semi-finals.
FIFA Suspends Indian Football Federation Over Third-Party Influence
FIFA has suspended the Indian football federation meaning that the country will not currently be able to host the under-17 Women’s World Cup in October.
Football’s world governing body said its council unanimously decided to suspend the All India Football Federation “due to undue influence from third parties, which constitutes a serious violation of the FIFA statutes”.
Federations must be free from legal and political interference, according to FIFA rules.
The AIFF is in disarray and being run by administrators after former chief Praful Patel stayed in office beyond his term without fresh elections, which courts ruled invalid.
Fresh elections are to be held on August 28 and the poll process began last week after India’s Supreme Court approved a timeline prepared by the administrators.
India is due to host the U-17 tournament on October 11-30 but FIFA said on Monday that because of the suspension it “cannot currently be held in India as planned”.
FIFA said that it was “in constant constructive contact with the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports in India and is hopeful that a positive outcome to the case may still be achieved”.
Indian men’s and women’s national teams also cannot play junior or senior international games during the suspension.
Former men’s captain Bhaichung Bhutia called the suspension “very harsh”.
“At the same time I think it’s a great opportunity to get our system right,” he told Indian sports news outlet Sportstar.
“And very important that all the stakeholders — the federations, state associations, sport ministry — come together to get the system right and everybody work for the betterment of the sport.”
India captain Sunil Chhetri had recently advised his players “not pay too much attention” to the FIFA ban threat as the situation was out of their control.
“The suspension will be lifted once an order to set up a committee of administrators to assume the powers of the AIFF Executive Committee has been repealed and the AIFF administration regains full control of the AIFF’s daily affairs,” FIFA said.
Dollar Rain for Amusan, Brume, others from Sports Ministry for Commonwealth successes
Team Nigeria medallists and their coaches at the 2022 Commonwealth Games have received their cash rewards from the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development for their heroics in Birmingham.
Athletes who won gold medals received $5,000, silver medallist received $3,000, while bronze medallists got $2,000. Athletes who represented Nigeria in the 4 x100 relay received $15,000 for the team.
Amongst those who got rewarded are Women’s 100m Hurdles Champion, Tobi Amusan, 200m Silver medallist and long jump winner, Ese Brume among others.
The Coaches and officials also got rewarded by the ministry for their roles in Team Nigeria’s success.
The Minister of Youth and Sports, Sunday Dare ensured that three weeks camping allowance was paid to all athletes.
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