ATHLETICS Federation of Nigeria, AFN, is on a recruitment drive to recruit American athletes of Nigerian descent in an attempt to further enhance sport in the country. Gabriel Opuana, national coach, who is leading the scout for the federation, however, said that only athletes who could make world standard in no distance future would be enlisted.
Opuana, a former national hammer throw champion, said that that there were many athletes of Nigerian origin around the world and the federation would contact with those individuals who could produce podium performances.
“We are looking around to see that we have the best of Nigerian-born athletes in the diaspora. But we will not bring those who cannot even match up with the home-based athletes. Already we have Stephen Mozia who recently broke the national shot put record. He was also at the World Indoor in Sopot, Poland.
“There is also another boy, Chukwuebuka Enekwechi in the hammer throw. He has committed to Nigeria and he recently did 67.31 on March 21, which is the new national record, if ratified by the AFN,” Opuana said.
Martino Enjoys Players’ Support
DESPITE the dismal performance of the club this season, Barcelona players are standing behind Gerardo Martino, their coach “to the death.” Carles Puyol, captain of the team who made the disclosure said Martino, 51, should not be blamed for the current form of the club. The Argentine coach has faced serious criticism after Saturday’s shock loss at lowly Granada which left Barcelona’s Spanish title hopes in tatters.
The defeat followed their Champions League quarter-final exit against Atletico Madrid, La Liga leaders and another loss to Real Madrid for the Copal cup, on Wednesday, April 16. “If we are all united then it will be easier. The only way forward is to stay united. I don’t think there needs to be a revolution depending on the results. You have to have a working method, not just according to whether you win one or two trophies. The team is hungry, it wants to win and keep making history,” Puyol said.
As it has turned out, Barca, as the club is fondly club, is going end this season without any trophy, which is likely to put more pressure on the coach. But for how long the management is going to tolerate that is another issue for all concerned.
Michael Phelps Comes Out of Retirement
SWIMMER Michael Phelps, the most successful Olympian in history, is set to end his retirement. The 28-year-old American, who has won 22 Olympic medals, is expected to compete at a meet in Arizona at the end of April. “He’s just going to test the waters a little bit and see how it goes. I wouldn’t say it’s a full-fledged comeback,” Bob Bowman, his long-time coach said.
Phelps quit after winning his 18th Olympic gold at the 2012 London Games. The Baltimore Bullet also has the record for most gold medals at single Games, winning eight in Beijing in 2008 to eclipse the mark set by compatriot Mark Spitz in 1972.
Bowman said Phelps had entered in three events – the 100 butterfly and the 50m and 100m freestyle – during the three-day meet in Mesa that would start on April 24, but could also compete in the 50m butterfly “just for fun”.
Britain’s Steve Parry, who finished third to Phelps in the 200m butterfly at the Athens Games in 2004, was surprised that his former rival was going to make a comeback. “I cannot believe he has made the decision to get back in the water. He has got nothing left to prove in the sport,” Parry said.
Onazi Dedicates Goal to Nyanya Bomb Blast Victims
OGENYI Onazi, Nigeria midfielder, who plies his trade for Lazio, dedicated his first Serie A goal to victims of the bomb blast which occurred in Nyanyan Abuja, Monday, April 14
Onazi, a social media savvy player, disclosed in the social media that he was dedicating his first goal for Lazio to the victims of the terror attack which occurred at a bus station in Nyanya, on the outskirts of the federal capital and killing more than 70 people. “I dedicate my goal to the victims of the explosion, that happened this morning. I hope by the grace of God the families have the strength needed to manage everything,” Onazi wrote on his Twitter account.
Lazio lost 2-4 to Napoli in a match played on Sunday, April 13.
— Apr. 28, 2014 @ 01:00 GMT