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China aids Senegal with National Wrestling Arena

China over the weekend gifted Senegal a prestige project, a wrestling arena, one of the many iconic structures which have become common sights in many African cities where the Asian powerhouse is hoping to maintain a foothold

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China over the weekend gifted Senegal a prestige project, a wrestling arena, one of the many iconic structures which have become common sights in many African cities where the Asian powerhouse is hoping to maintain a foothold.

The new facility, built by the Sixth Engineering Company Limited of China’s Hunan Construction Engineering Group (HNCEG) in Dakar, was officially handed over to local authorities on Sunday.

At the handover ceremony, visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping passed the “golden key” of the project to his Senegalese counterpart Macky Sall, and the two leaders enjoyed a show of traditional Senegalese wrestling.

China’s recent forays into Africa are well celebrated and many have pointed to several iconic edifices across the continent which critics say are meant to showcase the country’s engineering feats.

Read Also: Senegal, Mali, Nigeria battle for FIBA World Cup slot

The project was described as a mirage when it began in April 2016, with significant difficulties standing in the way, including hostile terrain and weather, skill gaps and unavailability of quality construction materials like steel rods.

“Draining the marshlands during the rainy season was a Herculean task. The foundation had to be constructed afresh on several occasions after collapsing due to heavy rains,” said Li Zhao, a supervisor with HNCEG.

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South Africa to host Ireland in Rugby Two-Test summer tour

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Current Rubgy World Cup champions, South Africa, will host Ireland, in a two-Test series in July, 2024, which will be Ireland’s first trip to the nation in eight years.

Ireland was the only country to defeat South Africa as they went on to win the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France in October.

South African Rugby Federation which made the announcement on Friday, said the two countries will first meet on Saturday, July 6, in Pretoria, with the second Test in Durban on 13 July.

When the two sides first met on South African soil in 2016, the Springboks came out victorious, edging the Three-Test series 2-1.

In the first test in the 2016 series, Ireland won 26-20 in Cape Town, before losing the next two games, 32-26 in Johannesburg and 19-13 in Port Elizabeth.

Apart from the Ireland games, SA Rugby also confirmed that the team will face Portugal on 20 July at a venue yet to be announced.

South Africa will also host New Zealand, who they beat in the World Cup final, in Johannesburg on 31 August and Cape Town on 7 September as part of the Rugby Championship before concluding their home schedule against Argentina on 28 September, the Federation said.

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Zimbabwe seals last gasp winner over Ireland in T20 Series opener

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Host, Zimbabwe, started its 2023 T20 Series on a winning note after rallying back to defeat Ireland from 88-7 to 106-7 in their pursuit of an 118 to end the tie for victory, with the home side requiring 12 runs from as many deliveries at that point.

In the thrilling game played in Harare on Thursday, Ireland’s fightback was not enough as they fell just short as Zimbabwe sealed a last-ball win in the series opener.

Ireland had earlier taken control of the game and posted 147-8 while the hosts needed nine runs from their final over, winning it with two from Blessing Muzarabani off the last delivery.

Captain Sikandar Raza who was voted man of the match, took three wickets and scored 65 to lead their run chase.

Raza was supported with the bat by Wesley Madhevere, who scored 25, with wicketkeeper Clive Madande hitting 20.

Two further T20 contests between the sides will take place at the Harare Sports Club on Saturday and Sunday before three one-day games at the same venue on 13, 15 and 17 December.

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