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Page 45 stories Ethiopians sweep Boston Marathon Lemi Berhanu Hayle and Atsede Baysa led an Ethiopian clean sweep at the Boston Marathon yesterday with victory…

Page 45 stories

Ethiopians sweep Boston Marathon

Lemi Berhanu Hayle and Atsede Baysa led an Ethiopian clean sweep at the Boston Marathon yesterday with victory in the men’s and women’s races of the prestigious event.

Hayle clinched victory in the men’s race in a time of 2hr 12min 44sec, coming home ahead of compatriot and defending champion Lelisa Desisa in second.

Another Ethiopian, Yemane Adhane Tsegay was third in 2:14.02.

Baysa meanwhile won a pulsating women’s race, producing a late charge over the final few miles to win in 2:29.19.

The 29-year-old had lagged by nearly 40 seconds at around the 22-mile mark but then moved through the gears to build a five-second lead over Tirfi Tsegaye after 25 miles.

Tsegaye eventually finished second in 2:30.03 with Joyce Chepkirui of Kenya third in 2:14.02.

Nigeria’s Emmanuel upsets Margaroli at Tombim Open

By Orkula Shaagee @shagcy

The main draw of the second edition of Tombim Abuja Open ITF Futures served-off yesterday at the National Stadium Abuja with Nigeria’s Sylvester Emmanuel advancing to the second round of the singles with a 6-3, 7-6(3) win over Luca Margaroli of Switzerland.

Emmanuel, a wild card entrant ranked 1551 broke Margaroli, the world no 895 in the fourth and sixth game to seal the first set 6-3 before he was stretched to a tie breaker in the second set.

With Margaroli looking to force a rubber decider as he led 6-5 in the second set, Emmanuel who enjoyed a huge home support, won the twelfth set on his own serve to force a tie break decider to the delight of the fans, who had moments earlier seen a Swiss triumphed over a Nigerian on the same Centre Court when Simeon Rossier defeated Joseph Ubon 7-5, 6-2.

“I trained hard for this tournament and I was determined to give my best performance and I’m happy I played very well and won. Hopefully, I will do better in my next match,” Emmanuel said after the game.

In the other match, Nigeria’s Ubon surrendered in the second set against Rossier, having come very close to take the opening set.

The former Nigeria junior player broke Rossier in the seventh game of the first set to lead 4-3 but the European broke him back immediately to tie the match 4-4. Both players then won the serves in the ninth and tenth game but it was Ubon who blinked first as Rossier broke him 6-5 in the eleventh game where at a point he double-faulted at 30-30 and eventually lost his steam as he let slip a three-match point which would have taken the set to tie-break.

Also yesterday, Benin’s Delmas N’tchaa defeated David Forchap of Germany 7-6(4) while Antal Van Der Dium of the Netherlands and Darren Polkinghorne of Australia were also among those that progressed to the second round following their 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 and 7-6, 7-5 wins over Hunter Reese of the USA and Alexander Igoshin of Russia respectively. Lenny Hampel of Austria also defeated Germany’s Primin Haenle.

Players from 18 countries are featuring in the main draw of the men only tournament which is in two legs.

Nasarawa United still sure of continental ticket

By David Ngobua @Ngobuadavid

Although they are presently at the bottom of the Nigeria Professional Football League table, Chairman of Nasarawa United FC, Barrister Isaac Danladi is confident his team will swim out of relegation and pick a continental ticket.

Nasarawa United is one of the clubs that represented Nigeria in this year’s CAF Confederation Cup but they were ousted by CS Constantine of Algeria in the preliminary rounds.

As they shift attention to the domestic league, Nasarawa are gradually coming alive with victories over Giwa FC and Plateau United and the chairman is confident they will not only climb up but pick a ticket to represent Nigeria in the continent again.

He said it took his boys sometime to adjust to the reality of their early exit in the continent but they have put that behind them and are now concentrating on the NPFL.

“It took the players a long time to put behind them the unfortunate experience we had in the CAF Confederation Cup. We all thought we would go very far in the competition but that did not happen.

“However, we have agreed to move on. The boys have adjusted and that is why you can see that we are beginning to win our matches.

“Our target is to return to the continent again. We learnt some few lessons and God’s willing we shall do better next time,” he assured.

Danladi also said despite their not too impressive CAF Confederation Cup campaign, the government of Nasarawa State is solidly behind the club.

He said the Governor and his Deputy have not wavered in their commitment to the club as he said they are still given all the necessary support.

“We are still enjoying full government support. This is serious motivation for us and we are again targeting another continental ticket,” he said.

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