Connect with us

Sports

Afcon 2023 draws throws up interesting matchups as Nigeria face Guinea Bissau, Sierra Leone again

Published

on

African teams on Tuesday, learned their opponents in the qualifying round for the continents’ biennial football competition, the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, Afcon, billed for Cote d’Ivoire next year.

Three time winners, Nigeria has been pitched again against Sierra Leone whom they played out a spectacular 5-5 draw over two legs (4-4 in Benin City and 1-1 in Freetown) in the last qualifiers for the Cameroon edition.

The Super Eagles will also square up against Guinea Bissau whom they defeated 2-0 in Cameroon as well as Sao Tome and Principe or Mauritius in Group A.

The draw which was held in South Africa and anchored by former South African dedender Lucas Radebe and ex-Cote d’Ivoire striker, Salomon Kalou, threw up more interesting pairings as the 32 seeded nations look to qualify for the epic African football showpiece, with plenty of ambitious teams believing they can emulate reigning champions Senegal and go on to win the tournament.

The Lions of Teranga on their part, will be hoping to defend their crown in Cote d’ivoire but they will have to contend with the likes of Benin Republic, Mozambique and Rwanda in Group L.

The Black Stars of Ghana will have to negotiate their way past Madagascar, Angola and the Central African Republic in Group E if they hope to make it to the tournament proper.

1996 champions South Africa would be aiming for a return to Afcon after missing the last edition but standing in their path in Group K will be Morocco, Zimbabwe and Libya.

2021 host, Cameroon will have their hands full when they confront Kenya, Namibia, and Burundi in Group C, while hosts Cote d’Ivoire will tackle Zambia, Comoros and Lesotho even though they have already secured their place in the tournament.

What this means is that only one other team from their group will qualify for the competition which will make the group a group of death.

The 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers start in June 2022.

How the teams are grouped:

Group A: Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Guinea-Bissau, Sao Tome e Principe or Mauritius

Group B: Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Togo, Eswatini

Group C: Cameroon, Kenya, Namibia, Burundi

Group D: Egypt, Guinea, Malawi, Ethiopia

Group E: Ghana, Madagascar, Angola, Central African Republic

Group F: Algeria, Uganda, Niger, Tanzania

Group G: Mali, Congo Brazzaville, Gambia, South Sudan

Group H: Ivory Coast (hosts), Zambia, Comoros, Lesotho

Group I: Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Mauritania, Sudan

Group J: Tunisia, Equatorial Guinea, Libya, Botswana

Group K: Morocco, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Liberia

Group L: Senegal (holders), Benin, Mozambique, Rwanda

Sports

Botswana sprint star Letsile Tebogo speaks of ambition to match Usain Bolt as world’s greatest

Published

on

Botswana sprint star, Letsile Tebogo, has talked of his ambition to match his idol, Usain Bolt, with the upcoming Paris 2024 Olympics kicking off in July in the horizon.

Tebogo who had been tipped by many as the next big star in the world of athletics, has also not been resting on his oars as he has backed up his desire with some impressive performances in the circuit by winning silver in 100m and bronze in 200m at the 2023 World Championships.

The 20-year-old also started the 2024 season like a house on fire, first running a world leading 19.94 in 200m at the ASA Athletics Grand Prix in Johannesburg, South Africa, before lowering his personal best in 400m with a time of 44.29 in Pretoria in March.

Before then, he had shattered the 300m world record in February, clocking an impressive 30.69 at the Simbine Curro Classic, a time that was a better than those managed by Bolt and US legend, Michael Johnson.

And with Olympics looming, Tebogo told sport journalists he has set “lofty ambitions” for himself and believes a good outing in Paris will put him on the road to becoming one of the greats like his idol.

“He (Bolt) is my idol – the person I most look up to. What he achieved was truly amazing. Whenever he ran, I watched him on TV,” Tebogo said.

“Everyone remembers Usain and I would love them to remember me too when I hang up my running shoes. I do not have to be the number one of all time – being among the top three will do just fine.”

Tebogo is seeking to become the second athlete from his country to win an Olympics medal after Nijel Amos claimed silver at the 2012 London edition.

He also believes Africa has great potential in the sprints and the time to show it on a global stage has come.

“The time has come for African athletes to dominate sprint events on the international stage,” the University of Oregon undergraduate said.

Tebago was the first African to win a medal in 100m at the World Championships last year, and since then, has continued to tower above his competitors in sprints.

Continue Reading

Sports

Three African athletes under investigation for allegedly fixing Beijing Half Marathon to favor Chinese runner

Published

on

Three African marathon runners, Robert Keter and Willy Mnangat both from Kenya, and Dejene Hailu from Ethiopia, are under investigation after they were accused of fixing the Beijing Half Marathon race by deliberately allowing a Chinese athlete, He Jie, to win.

The incident which occurred on Sunday at the 13-mile run and captured on video, saw the African runners who were all in the lead deliberately making way for He Jie, a member of China’s marathon team and national marathon record holder, at the finish line.

The 25-year-old Chinese runner won the half-marathon in a time of 1:03:44, just one second ahead of the trio after all four had run together for the entire race.

After the video went viral, the
Beijing Half Marathon organisers, the Beijing Sports Competition Management and International Exchange Centre, released a statement saying the incident is being investigated.

Mnangat who seemingly admitted the fraud, later told the South China Morning Post he let He Jie win “because he is my friend,” but however added he was not given any financial reward for doing so.

The South China Morning Post which reported the incident in a write up on Monday, said that in the controversial video, the three athletes can be seen gesturing towards the finish line and apparently slowing their pace to let He, the 2023 Asian Games marathon gold medalist, take the lead and ultimately win the race by a narrow one-second margin in a gesture that seemed orchestrated.

The Beijing Sports Bureau has also confirmed that an investigation was underway.

“We are taking this matter very seriously and will communicate the findings to the public once the investigation is complete,” an official from the Bureau stated in a statement.

This incident has however, sparked a significant backlash on Weibo, China’s leading social media platform, where users expressed disappointment and frustration.

“This will certainly be the most embarrassing championship in He Jie’s career,” one user posted, while another user said “with such a major organizer and such a well-known event, this really pushes sportsmanship to the ground in shame.”

Continue Reading

EDITOR’S PICK

VenturesNow38 mins ago

IMF predicts Nigeria’s inflation to drop to 18% by 2026

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has predicted that inflation rate in Nigeria will drop to 23 per cent in 2025...

Strictly Personal13 hours ago

Air Peace, capitalism and national interest, By Dakuku Peterside

Nigerian corporate influence and that of the West continue to collide. The rationale is straightforward: whereas corporate activity in Europe...

Culture13 hours ago

Cameroon opens museum dedicated to oldest, influential kingdoms

The Cameroonian government has inaugurated a historical museum which is dedicated to honouring its oldest and most influential kingdoms. Known...

Tech13 hours ago

South Africa’s crypto firm VALR gets licence to operate as asset service provider

South African leading cryptocurrency exchange trading firm, VALR, has been granted both Category I and Category II licence by the...

Sports13 hours ago

Botswana sprint star Letsile Tebogo speaks of ambition to match Usain Bolt as world’s greatest

Botswana sprint star, Letsile Tebogo, has talked of his ambition to match his idol, Usain Bolt, with the upcoming Paris...

Metro14 hours ago

$5m forfeited to govt in seized plane scandal that rocked Zambia

The Zambian government has been made $5 million richer following a court ruling that ordered the forfeiture of the sum...

VenturesNow16 hours ago

Nigeria’s finance ministry unveils system to monitor tax exemptions

Nigeria’s Ministry of Finance has unveiled the Incentive Monitoring and Evaluation Platform (IMEP), a cutting-edge computer system meant to make...

Metro17 hours ago

Tanzania, Rwanda others recall Johnson & Johnson children’s cough syrup

As a safety step, drug regulators in Tanzania, Rwanda, and Zimbabwe have called back a batch of Johnson & Johnson...

Politics18 hours ago

Nigeria: Senate President wants police rid of bad officers 

Nigeria’s Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, has asked the police to get rid of bad officers. He also promised that the...

Metro24 hours ago

Nigerian govt claims over 1,000 kidnapped victims rescued without ransom payments

The Nigerian government claims that no fewer than 1,000 victims of abductions in the country have so far been rescued...

Trending