President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday, approved National Honours of Officer of the Order of the Niger and cash awards of N200 million for Team Nigeria contingents to the 2022 Commonwealth Games and World Athletics championships.
At an award ceremony held at the State House, Abuja, the President congratulated the athletes for their “outstanding performances” saying their hour of sporting glory beamed the ‘‘radar of the world on Nigeria’’ and their exploits have projected the positive image of the country.
This is according to a statement signed by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, titled ‘President Buhari rewards Commonwealth Games, World Athletics Championships athletes with national honours, N200 million.’
They include gold winners and other medal winners including the world champion in the 100m hurdles, Tobiloba Amusan, Ese Brume, Blessing Oborodudu, Oluwafemiayo Folashade, Taiwo Liadi, Ikechukwu Obichukwu, Bose Omolayo, Favour Ofili, Nasiru Sule, Ifechukwude Ikpeoyi, Ebikewenimo Welson, Hannah Reuben and Elizabeth Oshoba.
Speaking at a presidential reception in honour of the athletes, the President said his government is committed to rewarding excellence, no less for members of Team Nigeria who ignited the spirit of victory in the nation through stellar performances at international competitions.
Describing the athletes as champions, worthy ambassadors, national heroes and heroines, Buhari said the awards will “spur them to greater heights.”
He said ”I watched with millions of Nigerians those exciting moments when you all brought smiles to us and our homes by breaking world, national and games records, as well as achieving personal best in your careers.
“Your outstanding performances in recent times are consistent with the determination of a nation always yearning for excellent performance. You all, members of Team Nigeria have ignited the spirit for victory in our nation but even more you have been victorious in major sporting championships and games.
”I have followed keenly your achievements at the World Championships in Oregon USA and indeed your remarkable performance at the recently concluded Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, United Kingdom. And I am very pleased that you displayed at both the personal and group levels great sporting talents and delivered for your country great podium performances.”
The President noted that 12 times the world stood still as Nigeria’s flag was hoisted and the National Anthem recited. 35 times we made it to the podium.
“You all Team Nigeria made that possible. You brought glory and honour to our country. And today, on behalf of the nation- I say, THANK YOU!”
Reiterating the commitment of this regime in providing the enabling environment for youths to ascend to the pinnacle of their chosen careers, the President expressed satisfaction with the impact the Adopt-An-Athlete Initiative of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports had on the performance of athletes.
He urged more private individuals and corporate organizations to support the government’s investment in sports, which has been reclassified from being a recreational activity to being a business in line with modern practices worldwide.
Buhari also acknowledged the strides witnessed in the sports sector under the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare and his team, commending the numerous and sustained successes recorded in the last few years.
On his part, Dare described 2022 as an outstanding year in the history of Nigerian sports.
Highlighting the most remarkable feats, Dare said in track and field, Amusan in a span of 4 months won Nigeria’s first ever gold medal in World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon, USA with a world record performance in an event highly dominated by the Americans and Europeans.
He said she successfully defended her Commonwealth Games title, which she won in 2018 in Gold Coast, with a games record in 2022 in Birmingham; and Diamond League title in Zurich, Switzerland on September 8, 2022, the Minister said, adding that this remarkable performance has never been achieved by any Nigerian in the history of our sports.
Dare further revealed that Brume, another trailblazer in Nigerian sports, won silver medal in the Women’s Long Jump event at the 2022 World Athletics Championships and a gold medal at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham with a games record performance.
”In confirming that the performance was not a fluke, she won a gold medal in the Women’s 68 kg category at the just concluded 2022 Commonwealth Games,” he said.
Describing Nigeria as the best Para Powerlifting nation in the world, the Minister hailed Oluwafemiayo for keeping with this tradition by winning gold medal in the Women’s heavyweight category, setting a new world record in that class at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics and the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
”Mr. President, through the sporting exploits and excellence of the young athletes before you in this hall and several others not able to make it for this reception, Nigeria has served notice that it will not relent.
”That it will show up and compete for every laurel available not only in sports but in youth development, economic progress, social emancipation, political development and many more,” he said.
He thanked the President, saying ”this administration’s investment in youth and sports development, will continue to yield dividends years after you might have completed your term as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
‘We’re proud of you’– joy as Tobi Amusan returns to Cele Church for thanksgiving
The Celestial Church of Christ says it is proud of the achievements of the current World Athletics, Commonwealth Games, and African Champion in 100 metres hurdles, Tobi Amusan.
The church,in a statement signed by the Head,CCC Media,Superior Evangelist Kayode Ajala, said it would not stop celebrating Amusan for being a good ambassador of the church, expressing delight that she returned to her spiritual fountain, the Celestial Church of Christ , to worship and to appreciate God during a Sunday Service .
The statement read:”Many do not even know that Tobi Amusan, the iconic athlete whose basket of global victories and laurels, is overflowing and bursting at the seams, is a member of the Celestial Church of Christ Worldwide. The track Queen who was recently bestowed with the national award of Officer of the Order of Niger ( O.O.N.) by President Muhammadu Buhari, is not just a member of the C.C.C. but also an active member of the choir.
“Amusan’s many wins include the following: Winner of the World Athletics Diamond League. – Gold Medalist from the World Athletics Championships 2022 in Eugene Oregon, U.S.A. – First Nigerian World Record Holder in Athletics, Eugene Oregon, U.S.A. – Triple Gold Medalist from the Commonwealth Games. – Double Gold Medalist from the African Athletics Championships.
” Recently, Sister Tobi Amusan returned to her spiritual fountain, the Celestial Church of Christ , to worship and to give thanks to God during a glorious Sunday Service.
“C.C.C. Worldwide celebrates one of our own, Sister Tobi Amusan. We are very proud of you and we would not stop celebrating you. This is just the beginning. God’s glory in your life would continue to abide and multiply in the mighty name of Jesus. Amen.”
You’re not human – Copenhagen goalkeeper tells Haaland
Copenhagen’s goalkeeper, Kamil Grabara, has said that Manchester City’s goal-machine, Erling Haaland is “not human”
England forward, Jack Grealish revealed that Grabara said this after the Norwegian scored his second goal in the Champions League demolition of Copenhagen at the Etihad on Wednesday.
Haaland scored two more goals as Manchester City thrashed the Danish side 5-0 on Wednesday night.
The 22-year-old now has 19 goals in his first 12 games for Pep Guardiola’s side.
Speaking to reporters after the game, Grealish said, “It’s unbelievable honestly,” the England forward said of Haaland.
“I’ve never witnessed anything like it in my life. For the first and second goals, I was just laughing. He is always there.
“The keeper [Kamil Grabara] said something to me as I was walking back. He said, ‘he’s not human!’ I said ‘you’re telling me?’ Hopefully he can carry on this form and take us to glory.”
Champions League: Chelsea 3-0 AC Milan (Post-match reaction, ratings)
Chelsea settled down quickly after a slightly nervous start, and other than brief flashes of danger from that man, Rafael Leão, controlled proceedings in the opening 45 minutes.
We had done a good job on matching up with Leão throughout the half, and only once did he actually burst through — though that one time should’ve resulted in a goal.
Only a great save from Kepa and a last-ditch block from Chilwell kept our sheet clean. Leão’s impact was also felt with the injury to Fofana.
At the other end, Chelsea created a few good opportunities, and Mason Mount did have the ball in the back of the net with a great finish, but he was unfortunately well offside.
The Blues had wasted several other chances, most glaringly a 2-v-1 with Sterling and Aubameyang.
We did take the lead halfway through the first half thanks Thiago Silva dominating his former team on set pieces, getting his head to three in a quick succession (free kick, corner, corner) and Wesley Fofana coolly finishing from the resulting scramble.
Milan seemed to begin the second half with renewed impetus and desire to get level, but Chelsea quickly put the game to bed with two goals in five minutes, Reece James creating one then finishing one, making the last half hour of the match a bit of a formality, with both sides looking to the weekend more than anything else.
Just two changes in terms of personnel, with Koulibaly and Loftus-Cheek coming into the side, but also a formation shift back to a back-three.
Chalobah on for just his second appearance of the season after the injury to Fofana. He jarred his knee pretty badly, so hopefully it’s not bad.
In the other game of the group, Salzburg beat Zagreb, 1-0, to take over top spot in the group. Chelsea move up to second, level on points
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