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10022018 - 2019 : How we'll stop Buhari - Opposition parties

Vanguard Newspaper 10 january 2018

44 — SATURDAY

44 — SATURDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 10, 2018 Nigeria’s Oduduru is on a ‘Divine’ mission N igerian sprinter Divine Oduduru has been in the global news of recent, and for the right reasons too! The Delta State athlete has been making waves in the NCAA circuit since the beginning of the year and exactly a week ago, while competing for his school at the Texas Tech Open meet, Oduduru stormed to a Personal Best (PB) of 20.18s in only his second 200m race at an indoor meet! Not only is his time the fastest over the distance in the world this year, it is also a Nigerian Indoor Record as he eclipsed Francis Obikwelu’s former record of 20.46s set in 1999. That time propels Oduduru to 4th position on the all-time global rankings! Only Namibia’s Frankie Fredericks (19.92s, 1996) and USA’s duo of Wallace Spearmon (20.10s, 2005) and Christian Coleman (20.11s, 2017) have run faster. A day before his impressive feat, Oduduru had clocked a PB of 6.58s in the 60m, setting a School Record in the process. As it stands, the Nigerian who is only a freshman at Texas Tech, currently holds three School Records: the men’s 60m and 200m indoor records, as well as the men’s 100m record. He is ranked 2nd in the 200m (outdoor), and going by his imperious form, it is only a matter of time before Andrew Hudson’s record of 20.43s succumbs to the superior speed of the Nigerian. A week before his amazing feat, Oduduru set a then PB of 20.49s in his first ever 200m indoor race to win the Texas Tech Track and Field Red Raider Invitational, smashing his school’s 20-year old record in the process. Going by how well he is running at the moment, one can’t help but feel that Oduduru has a lot more to unleash. Divine Oduduru has definitely come a long way since 2013 when he first came into national and continental reckoning at the African Youth Athletics Championships hosted by Nigeria in Warri, storming to Gold medals in the 100m and 200m. Later that year, he went on to win the 200m at the African Junior Championships in Mauritius. At the 2014 IAAF World Junior Championships in Oregon, he raced to a wind-assisted time of 20.25s in the 200m to win a Silver medal – the fastest time by a Nigerian in about a decade. 2014 was also a defining moment in Oduduru’s career as he showed that he had come of age by upstaging his more experienced rivals to win the National title in the 200m. In 2015, he was the standout athlete at the African U-20 Championships in Ethiopia where he grabbed three Gold medals in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m respectively. In that same year. Oduduru won his first continental medal as a senior athlete, picking the Silver medal in the 200m at the All-African Games in Brazzaville. He stood a good chance of doing same at the 2016 African Senior Championships in Durban but had to pull out of the event after suffering an injury in the heats. That notwithstanding, 2016 turned out to be the highlight of Oduduru’s career as he reclaimed his national title and qualified for the Olympic Games in Rio. At the Games, Oduduru was drawn in the same heat as his mentor and Jamaican legend Usain Bolt. Despite his seeming inexperience, considering that he was competing at the Olympics for the first time, Oduduru made the most of running against Bolt by setting a PB of 20.34s. So impressed was the multiple World Record holder that he gave the Nigerian a hug after the race, tipping him for greater successes no doubt. This is what he had to say about racing in the same heat as the legend: “Getting to the Olympics remains one of my most amazing experiences. Me running with Usain Bolt wanted to get me scared so I was like ‘I am not scared; I’m just going there to do what I know how to do best. This is the moment I have been waiting for.’ I’ve been looking up to him. Whenever I want to run when I go for competitions, I watch his videos and interviews just to keep myself motivated.” Oduduru relocated to the US after the Olympics, having secured a track scholarship. However, due to a nagging injury, we did not see much of him in 2017 as he needed some time to recuperate and adjust to his new environment. But who would have imagined that he would bounce back with such dominance and vehemence? Now that he has begun to manifest this level of greatness, there have been differing opinions as to the factors responsible for his stellar performance in recent times. Some are of the opinion that his relocation to the US where he now has access to great coaches and facilities, not forgetting good nutrition, are responsible for his brilliant form. However, others believe that his talent is only coming to bear now. Roman philosopher Seneca once said: “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity". I believe this best captures Divine Oduduru’s current reality. If he remains injury-free and is able to extend this performance to the outdoors, we may just be looking at Nigeria’s second ever sub-20s runner, behind Francis Obikwelu who clocked the National Record of 19.84s at the 1999 World Championships in Spain. Oduduru has already broken Obikwelu’s 19-year old indoor record; who says he can’t replicate same outdoors? C M Y K

SATURDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 10, 2018 — 45 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon: Lagos hosts ts biggest t marathon athon race ace in Africa More than 120,000 runners are taking to Lagos streets early this morning for the 2018 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon. As you read this winners would have emerged and cuddling their prizes, while the fun seekers are probably still cooling off their heels after the race over a 42km course. The Access Bank Lagos Marathon started in 2016. After a jerky start, organisers have, however, made a good impression. Lagos State governor, Akinwummi Ambode and title sponsor Access Bank didn’t have to do too much of a thinking to set the ball rolling for the 2017 2018 W/Cup: Integral to host hospitality sales in Nigeria By Iyabo Aina MATCH hospitality has appointed leading sports events and hospitality company, Integral, as the exclusive sales agent in Nigeria for the sale of the official hospitality programme o f the 2018 FIFA World Cup. FIFA Hospitality Programme is set to offer clients guaranteed match tickets bundled together with a wide range of services such as facilities at the stadiums including private suites, lounges and marquee tents, gourmet catering, preferential parking, entertainment and gifts. Speaking at the unveiling, Pascal Portes, Chief Operating Officer of MATCH Hospitality, said: “We feel a tremendous sense of pride in the product range offered by MATCH Hospitality as FIFA’s official hospitality rights holder for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia”. He added that “Nigeria is an established and very passionate market, and we are extremely optimistic about the sales potential for our hospitality programme in 2018. edition. In 2018 the race gained more currency, receiving acknowledgement from the world athletics ruling body the IAAF. It was awarded a bronze label and now Lagos State sports officials are pushing for the event to get a gold label status and thus begin to attract world top ten runners. “New York marathon started with only 17 people and we started with 50, 000. Within the first two years we achieved IAAF bronze label status and our aim is to get into the gold label so that we can attract more elite runners,” said general manager of the event Yusuf Alli said. “We have more incentives for the local runners more than any other marathon in the world. It is only in Nigeria we have to pay the local runners. In other countries it is just one prize more.” The 2018 edition of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon witnessed several innovations, one of which was the upgrade of prize monies from N1m to N3m, •CHAN Eagles for the top Nigerian finishers (Male and Female) in the 42km race. Winners of the Wheelchair race will cart home N1million each (Male and female). There is also a 10km nonprofessional Family Race put in place to encourage Nigerian participants to run for fun and healthy living, with winners in this category going home with brand new cars. Speaking on the development and potentials of the race former Athletics Federation of Nigeria President, Solomon Ogba said. “Lagos has all the ingredients to host a world-class marathon. As President of AFN, I approached many officials of the Lagos State Government, but they didn’t welcome the idea. A few weeks after Ambode was sworn-in, I was still the head of AFN then, Nilayo Sports Management Limited sold the idea to him and he bought into it immediately. “The IAAF and AIMS have a special interest in the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon. Lagos is one of the few marathons in the world that got an IAAF Label after just two editions. This is a rare feat. The event had over 50,000 By Jacob Ajom Even to the biggest optimists, Nigeria was not given any chance of lifting the African Nations Championship in Morocco. With a side that barely picked a silver in the regional WAFU Cup of Nations some months back, the Super Eagles were grouped alongside Libya, Rwanda and Equatorial Guinea. Coach Salisu Yusuf’s team opened their campaign in Morocco with a colourless goaless draw against Rwanda, came from behind to beat Equatorial Guinea 3 - 1 and churned out a hard-earned 1- 0 victory over hard-fighting Libya in the last group match to top the group on 7 points. runners at the first edition and over 73,000 in the second, this is something you rarely find in any part of the world” Ogba who is now the president of the historymaking Bobsled & Skeleton Federation of Nigeria urged other Governors and corporate bodies to emulate Gov. Ambode and Access Bank. . . .Top 20 Nigerians to get Lumos solar power systems The local athletes participating in the 2018 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon have been rewarded with Solar Power Systems for competing in the pulsating 42km race. Lumos Nigeria, the leading solar-powered Mobile Electricity Service provider announced its donation of 20 units of Lumos Solar Power systems, comprising of an indoor unit, a solar panel and 2 DC bulbs, valued close to N300,000 to the first 10 Nigerian men and women winners each, of It was at this stage that some Nigerians began investing any hope in the team. After overcoming Angola and Sudan in the knockout stages, the Super Eagles were squared up against hosts, Morocco in the final of a tournament they had never got anything better than a bronze medal jn the past. Indeed, the bronze was won under the regime of late Stephen Keshi in 2014 in Cape Town, South Africa. In this year’s final, the Super Eagles received a beating as Morocco ran away with an emphatic 4-0 win . It could have been worse. The manner of the defeat to the hosts in the final sparked off a lot of criticisms and coach Salisu Yusuf was the butt of all the attacks. Yet Salisu had his sympathizers. “Returning with a silver was not bad. I will rate their performance above average,” said sports journalist Emma Jemegha. “It is not every time that a team can win competitions, Given the circumstances the boys found themselves in the final — the red card and injuries to numerous key players — I believe, it could have been different”. Jemegha’s sentiments were shared by Port Harcourt-based journalist, Gbenga James who said the the marathon. The Solar Power System can power the basic items such as three electric bulbs, rechargeable fans, 21 inch to 32 inch LED television sets, laptop computers, phone chargers and other small home appliances. “We are very pleased to be associated with the 2018 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, undoubtedly one of the leading Marathon events in Africa. “For us at Lumos Nigeria, our involvement aims to inspire and support the runners while empowering people through mobile electricity at work and at play; we are passionate about lighting up Nigeria one family, one small business and one community at a time, as such, the marathon connects with one of our core values, passion for excellence, hence we have decided to reward the top 10 indigenous male and female winners at the event.” said the Vice President Marketing Lumos Nigeria, Olufemi Ashipa Lumos Nigeria offers safe, reliable, affordable electricity through its Lumos Yéllo box Solar Power System. CHAN Eagles: Heroes or villains? Super Eagles deserve praise for the outing in Morocco. “Finishing second in a 16-team competition can never be termed a poor performance at all, We may not like the final but the players put in their best and could not have gone beyond their abilities to give you a result better than what they achieved in Morocco.” Some people have questioned the quality of players Salisu took to CHAN, saying, “Nigeria was not necessarily represented by her best players in Morocco. “That would be unfair on coach Salisu to say he did not take Nigeria’s best to Morocco,” Jemegha said, angrily. “If you remember very well, no fewer than four members of the team that went to WAFU were missing in that team that played CHAN. Nigeria is a country where, after a competition, any player that attracts the attention of an agent is taken out of the country immediately. Nigerian coaches don’t have that luxury of having their best players at home and the Moroccans don’t move like our players do here. Out of desperation, Nigerian players go to wherever they can earn more than they are getting back home. Because of that, the Nigerian team to CHAN was depleted.”