Both Canada and Nigeria are looking to sign off their women’s World Cup campaigns with a much-needed win here on Tuesday when they clash in their final Group A game before going home.
Defeats to Germany and France have left both sides pointless in the group and with their European rivals set to progress to the quarter-finals, the North Americans and Africans are chasing victory to boost flagging confidence.
Namibia will participate in three disciplines at the 13th Special Olympics World Summer Games that will be held in Athens, Greece from 25 June to July 4.
The Namibian delegation will consist of 21 athletes who will participate in basketball, football and track and field athletics.
The chairperson of Special Olympics Namibia, Cassius Moetie said that all the teams that were going to represent Namibia had prepared well and were ready for the competition.
“Special Olympics Namibia held national games in September last year at which the World Games Team was selected. The athletes have been in training since then holding two training camps: one in April and the second ending today in preparation for the World Games,” Moetie said.
“We are confident that the team is ready for the competition and we promise to make Namibia proud over there,” he added.
Previously, Special Olympics Namibia participated in 1999 in North Carolina, in Ireland in 2003 and in Shanghai in 2007.
“As our athletes depart for these World Games, we encourage them to be courageous during competition just like the Roman gladiators as they entered the arena, facing the greatest battle of their lives,” Moetie said.
“For too long, individuals with intellectual disabilities were sidelined, with the belief that they could not learn. Contrary to this belief, at this stage the athletes will prove to the world that with care and training, they can perform just like everyone else and even better,” he continued.
The head of delegation for the team will be Sydney Goagoseb from the Namibia National Olympic Committee.
Frank Albin will be the head coach of the basketball team, Lolo Goraseb will coach the football team while Onesmus Shimanya will be the head coach for the track and field athletes.
A total of 7 000 athletes from 180 different countries will participate at this year’s Games.
The director of Special Olympics Africa, Charles Nyambe, said that he was confident that the team would return home with medals.
“The football team came home with a silver medal from the Shanghai Games, and this year we are hoping for gold. Our track and field team brought home a bronze from the same Games and we know they will do better this time around,” Nyambe said.
This will be the first time that Special Olympics Namibia will be taking a basketball team to the Games.
“We are only taking three disciplines because we want to focus on what we are good at and where we know we will be able to bring back medals. We don’t want to participate in 10 codes and come back with nothing, for now we are comfortable with three,” Moetie said in response to a question about the number of disciplines Namibia is participating in.
Ivory Coast booked their place at next year’s African Nations Cup with a 6-2 thrashing of Benin, their fourth win in four games.
The Elephants cruised into a 3-0 lead inside half an hour with goals from Didier Ya Konan, Didier Drogba and Gervinho, but they were rocked as Stephane Sessegnon replied with two of his own, including one from the spot.
Drogba then netted a spot-kick of his own, Gervinho also grabbed a second and by the time the Ivorians added a late sixth, their place in Gabon and Equitorial Guinea was assured.
Burundi went second in the group with their first win of the campaign, 3-1 over Rwanda. Seremani Ndikumana opened the scoring for the hosts and, though Bokota Labama levelled, the points were made safe by further strikes from Saido Ntibazonkiza and Papy Saty.
Reigning African Nations Cup champions Egypt's qualification chances were virtually extinguished as they were held to a goalless draw by South Africa.
The draw left Egypt with just two points from four Group G matches and four points off second place with two matches remaining - and, with only two best runners-up spots available, a mountian to climb.
Sierra Leone claimed their first victory in Group G, edging out Niger 1-0. Ibrahim Bangura scored the only goal five minutes into the second half to move the hosts within three points of pool leaders South Africa.
Guinea extended their lead at the top of Group B to three points as they hammered Madagascar 4-1. Omar Kalabane and Djibril Bangoura but the hosts into a two goal lead and, though Arsene Faed pulled one back, Mamadou Diallo and Bobo Balde made the points safe.
Second-placed Nigeria could only draw 2-2 at Ethiopia, despite taking the lead through Ikechukwu Uche. Saladin Seid levelled just before the break, then struck again five minutes into the second period, meaning Nigeria needed a late leveller from captain Joseph Yobo to rescue a point.
Issam Jemaa scored a hat-trick as Tunisia went second in Group K with a 5-0 win over Chad. Tunisia also had goals from Ousemma Darragi and Aymen Abdelnour, while Chad had Didier Mbayi dismissed in the first half, allowing the hosts to leapfrog Malawi in the table.
Malawi played out a goalless draw at group leaders Botswana, who had already qualified, while Francis Doe scored the only goal as Group A leaders Cape Verde Islands slipped to a 1-0 defeat at bottom side Liberia.
There was also a surprise in the group’s other game as two goals from Knowledge Musona, including a last-minute penalty, lifted Zimbabwe to a 2-1 win over second-placed Mali.
Angola leapfrogged Kenya into second in Group J with a 1-0 win, Alberto Manucho scoring the winner five minutes before the end.
Congo DR had to come from behind to beat Group E whipping boys Mauritius 2-1, Herita Ilunga and Kabangu Mulota scoring to cancel out Jonathan Bru’s early penalty.
Alaa Eldin Yousif scored the winner five minutes from time as Sudan claimed a 2-1 victory in Swaziland which took them back level on points with Ghana at the top of Group I.
In Group D, Morocco gave their qualifying hopes a welcome boost with a 4-0 rout of Algeria. Having lost 1-0 to the Algerians in March, Morocco turned the tables on their rivals with Mehdi Benatia, Marouane Chamakh, Youssouf Hadji and Oussama Assaidi all on the scoresheet.
Central African Republic beat Tanzania 2-1 to move back level on points with Morocco at the top of Group D.
Libya, knocked off top spot in Group C by Zambia on Saturday, could have returned to the summit with a win in Comoros, but they were held to a 1-1 draw.
By Ayumba Ayodi
Kenya will take more than 100 athletes to the 2012 London Olympic Games, the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) chairman Kipchoge Keino has said.
Consequently, Sports Assistant Minister Kabando wa Kabando put London on notice, saying “Kenya is coming to dominate and haul medals at the Olympics.”
The duo spoke on Tuesday at a ceremony to mark the 500-day countdown to the London 2012 at British High Commissioner Rob Macaire’s residence. (see below)
Kipchoge said that, with assistance from the government, they are determined to not just field a huge squad but also secure the best results ever.
An estimated Sh180 million will be spent to prepare the team. Kipchoge said through Kenya’s partnership with the City of Bristol, there will be exchange programmes between athletes and technical officials from the two countries ahead of the Games in a bid to enable more Kenyan athletes qualify in most of the 26 Olympic sports.
Registered its best ever performance
Kenya, which was represented by 60 athletes at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, registered its best ever performance, especially by women, to win six gold, four silver and four bronze medals.
Pamela Jelimo won Kenya its first women’s Olympic gold medal in the 800 metres while Nancy Jebet Lagat crowned it with similar exploits in 1,500m.
“We want to especially focus on minor sports like rowing and swimming where Britain has facilities that are superior to Kenya’s,” said Keino.
The programme is set for as early as June when some local technical officials will visit Bristol, he added, and will also involve Paraplegic athletes.
Kabando said Kenya should strive to put more emphasis on indoor sports where there is great potential, singling out swimming, while the envoy said the team should expect great inspiration from close to 200,000 Kenyans living in Britain and especially their host, the City of Bristol.
Cameroon international and Inter forward Samuel Eto’o is not indifferent to the current political crisis rocking Cote d’Ivoire.
According to Sport365.fr, Eto’o recently called on Ivorian politicians to resolve the stand-off amicably, avoiding any move that could lead to another civil war in the West African country.
"Above all, I pray for the Almighty God’s intervention in Cote d’Ivoire, to bring peace and protect Ivorians for further troubles,” he said.
Eto’o is married to Ivorian-born woman named Georgette, with whom he has three children.
Didier Drogba made a similar call last week but Manchester City’s Kolo Toure immediately dissociated himself from Drogba’s message, saying the Chelsea hitman never consulted him before issuing the statement.
The Ivorian media has been interpreting the disagreement as one of the causes of the deep political dissension among Ivorians at the moment, especially between the north and south.
Drogba is a southerner while Kolo is northerner, but neither player has overtly pronounced a political affiliation.
How sad is it that these athletes have to call on grown men to stop fighting like a bunch of children?? Can you imagine if there was press conference with LeBron James or Tiger Woods calling on the U.S. to stop in-fighting between the different states?? Laurent Gbagba is beyond pathetic….
Poverty Porn - any type of media which exploits the poor’s condition in order to generate sympathy for selling newspapers or increasing charitable donations or support for a given cause.
You will find none of that here :)