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September 03, 2004

Egbunike's Absence Cost Nigeria Gold - Udo-Obong

"A member of the nation's relay quartet that won silver at the Sydney Olympics and bronze in the Athens Games, Enefiok Udo-Obang has from an insider's advantage profeered the factor that cost the nation a gold medal in the 4x400m relay in Greece to the absence of their Sydney coach, Innocent Egbunike in the Athens camp.

Speaking in an extensive interview with THISDAYSports yesterday, he said, "the quartet in Sydney comprising Sunday Bada, Clement Chukwu, Jude Monye were made up of well established world leaders in the quarter-mile. I was like the weakest link in terms of experience. The experience of Egbunike fetched us the medal."

Comparing the two teams, which he remains the only link, the Akwa-Ibom-born athlete said, "the Athens team, though younger and less experienced was a team of youth with a burning desire for meeting the challenges set within us. No body believed in us. I had to start psyching the other members of the team. God was our biggest supporter in meeting that effort.""

Read more at Egbunike's Absence Cost Nigeria Gold - Udo-Obong:

Posted by Darren at 12:21 PM

August 11, 2004

African gold diggers eyeing hat-trick as football kicks off today

"THE gold diggers from Africa will be hoping to complete a hat-trick at the Athens Olympic Games soccer tournament starting today.

Nigeria won the 1996 Atlanta Games with a thrilling 3-2 win over Argentina in the final and Cameroon triumphed on penalties against Spain in the 2000 Sydney final despite conceding a first-minute goal.

A shock-riddled qualifying competition for Greece saw Cameroon and Nigeria eliminated and of the four Sydney challengers, only Morocco survived as South Africa flopped.

Morocco will be joined in the Athens Games by 1992 bronze medallists Ghana, Tunisia and debutants Mali.

Mali drew Greece, Mexico and South Korea in Group A; Ghana face Italy, Japan and Paraguay in Group B; Tunisia tackle Argentina, Australia and Serbia and Montenegro in Group C; and Morocco meet Costa Rica, Iraq and Portugal in Group D.

Group winners and runners-up qualify for the quarter-finals and Mali and Morocco appear to have the easier tasks while Tunisia confront star-studded Argentina and Ghana confront European Under-21 champions Italy."

Read more at African gold diggers eyeing hat-trick as football kicks off today.

Posted by Darren at 12:08 PM

August 05, 2004

Nigeria leave Vivian Chukwuemeka out of Olympic Team

"African and Commonwealth women's shot-put champion Vivian Chukwuemeka has been omitted from Nigeria's squad for this month's Olympics Games.

Chukwuemeka, who won gold at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, was not included in an 85-strong squad announced by the Nigerian Olympic Committee (NOC) on Tuesday.

No reason was given for her omission but she did not meet the Olympic qualifying standard of 63.4 metres at last month's Nigerian trials.

However, Chukwuemeka's supporters say the woman nicknamed "Rebel" is being ostracised because of past confrontations with the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), which included leading a relay boycott at last year's world championships."

Read more Nigeria leave out Commonwealth gold medallist

Posted by Darren at 08:46 AM

August 01, 2004

Nigeria's Olympic Preparations

"No doubt, Olympic games are rated the world's biggest sports festival that affords the best sportsmen and women the opportunity to compete in all events every four years. The games provide that ambience for the world to determine the most outstanding athletes. The honour and acclaim that go with it are evidenced in the pace of the preparations for this very important encounter by the world's highly-rated athletes.

With less than a month to the 2004 games in Athens, the preparations of Nigeria for the encounter cannot be said to be the best.

The nation's contingent is billed to feature in ten events, at the Athens games which among others are athletics, boxing, female football, table tennis and swimming. In previous games, particularly the Atlanta games in 1996 and that of Sydney, Australia in 2000, the country's participation in many events was pruned down due to the inability to qualify at the preliminary stages of the competition. But that limitation has been reversed in the current event."

Continue reading Nigeria's Olympic Preparations.

Posted by Darren at 12:38 PM

July 21, 2004

Nigeria's Women's Basketball Team Warms up Against US Military Team

Nigeria's women's basketball team are preparing for the Athens Olympics by playing whatever opposition they can find - including a US military all star team.

'The European women�s U.S. all-stars weren�t much of a match for the Nigerian women�s Olympic basketball team in an 83-26 loss Friday night....

The Nigerians, champions of Africa and the only women�s team from the continent to qualify for next month�s Athens Games, decided to work on their full-court press after halftime, forcing turnovers and steals during a 32-2 third-quarter run.

�This isn�t the kind of game we need to get us ready for the Olympics,� Nigeria�s Mactabene Amachree said, �but we have what we have. After this we�re going to Turkey. They�ll give us some games.�' Read More at Nigerian women�s team routs military all-stars

Posted by Darren at 09:27 PM

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