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Osun half-marathon: Winners to get $8,000, N1m, N750,000 cash prizes each

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Zenith Business Suite of Lagos, organisers of the maiden edition of Osun Heritage International Half-Marathon, on Wednesday said they would give out $8,000 each to the race’s international male and female winners.

Aderemi Akinwale, the Race Coordinator, who disclosed this during the half-marathon’s press conference/logo unveiling in Osogbo, said cash prizes for the event would be in three categories.

“The cash prizes will be given in three categories, with 8,000 dollars each being given to the first male and first female in the international prize category.

“Also, the sum of N1 million each will be given to the first male and first female in the national prize category, while N750,000 each will be given to the first male and first female indigene of Osun who makes it to the finish line in the Osun indigene category,’’ he said.

Akinwale said the half-marathon, which is scheduled to hold in Osogbo on Nov. 23, was being expected to attract over 20,000 participants, both from home and abroad.

“Athletes or participants will run through a 21.5 km route along Osogbo’s major roads, starting from the State Secretariat roundabout in Abere and terminating at Freedom Park, Old Garage Area,” he explained.

The race coordinator said in order to give room for easy participation, the registration fee for the marathon was put at N1,000 only.

“The registration form has been made available across all the all local government areas and all tertiary institutions in Osun.’’

He added that security, live camera coverage, ambulances and hospital care arrangements had already been made for the event.

“We have made elaborate preparations and intend to sustain the race and make it an annual event,’’ Akinwale said.

The half-marathon is being organised by Zenith Business Suits in partnership with the Osun Government.

“It is to mark Gov. Gboyega Oyetola’s one-year period in office as Osun governor,’’ the race coordinator said.

In his address at the occasion, Biyi Odunlade, the Supervisor of Osun Ministry of Social Protection, Sports and Special Needs, explained the thinking behind the half-marathon.

“The programme is linked to the first year anniversary of the governor because sports is important to living and governance.

“Whether as an independent entity or organisation, we all need sports to survive.”

He said when the governor was approached with the idea of the half-marathon and, being a sports-loving governor, he told them he was in support.

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Odunlade said the governor has never neglected sports and the half-marathon was to appreciate him and also sensitise the public to the importance of physical exercise.

“We are preaching to the people to ensure that they don’t die young. It should not always be about looking for money, they should take time to walk or run around their house to keep themselves healthy and safe.

“We are organising this half-marathon to let people have a sound mind in a sound body,” he said.

(NAN)

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Sports

Suarez scores as Barca condemn neighbours Espanyol to relegation

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 FC Barcelona kept up their pursuit of leaders Real Madrid in the La Liga title race by beating city rivals Espanyol 1-0 at home on Wednesday.

The slim win also condemned their neighbours to relegation from the top flight.

Luis Suarez struck the only goal in the 56th minute, lashing a loose ball into the net.

This was shortly after both sides had been reduced to 10 men each in a frantic start to the second half.

Barca’s teenage forward Ansu Fati was sent off for a reckless tackle five minutes after coming off the bench.

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But Espanyol’s numerical advantage lasted only three minutes as Pol Lozano was dismissed, also following a VAR review.

Barca, chasing a third consecutive Spanish title, are on 76 points after 35 games while Real Madrid is top with 77.

The leaders can restore their four-point advantage when they host Alaves on Friday.

Espanyol, one of Spain’s most prestigious clubs, were relegated for the first time since winning promotion back to La Liga in 1994.

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They are bottom of the table on 24 points after 35 games.

Barca had produced one of their best performances of the season by hammering Villarreal 4-1 away on Sunday.

But they looked sluggish at an empty Camp Nou, which normally would have been in full voice on derby day.

Espanyol frustrated their more illustrious neighbours in the first half with a five-man defence and created the better chances.

Barca goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen had to be aware to prevent his teammate Clement Lenglet from scoring an own goal just before half-time.

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Espanyol’s Didac Vila fired the loose ball against the post.

Ter Stegen had also come to Barca’s rescue earlier, spreading his body and keeping out a low strike from Adri Embarba with his leg.

Barca found a way through with the help of their three forwards.

Antoine Griezmann raced to the byline and passed to Lionel Messi whose shot deflected into the path of Suarez and the Uruguayan made no mistake.

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Nigeria Update

JUST IN: Nigerian striker Onuachu contracts COVID-19

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Paul Onuachu

Super Eagles striker and international player Paul Onuachu has tested positive for coronavirus.

The results of his compatriots Stephen Odey and Cyril Dessers at Belgian club Genk, came out negative.

The 26-year-old Nigeria international is the first Eagles star to test positive for the virus that has caused sporting events cancellations and suspensions across the globe.

“In the run-up to the first exhibition game of the season, the entire Genk group was tested yesterday (Tuesday),” a report on Belgian website hln.be stated.

Everyone tested negative except Onuachu.”

The 6ft7in striker left Belgium for Nigeria on May 27, alongside fellow Eagles strikers Victor Osimhen and Imoh Ezekiel and returned to his club June 28 after he was stranded for a week in Lagos due to travel restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

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Onuachu becomes the second Nigerian footballer to contract the virus after Akpan Udoh, the first footballer to be infected, in February.

Pianese forward, Udoh, 22, was born in Italy to Nigerian parents and began his youth career at Reggiana, before moving to giants Juventus, where he failed to play a competitive game for the Old Lady.

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According to hln.be, Onuachu will miss Genk’s first exhibition game of the season against Eendracht Termien on Thursday (today) as he will be quarantined for a week.

Onuachu’s COVID-19 status has however raised concerns within the Genk squad as he had trained intensively with the rest of the squad for more than a week now.

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Onuachu joined Genk from Danish club FC Midtjylland last summer and scored 10 goals for the club before the Belgian Pro Division season was ended abruptly due to COVID-19.

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Sports

Player who wore neck chain on pitch struck by lightning

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A 16-year-old Russian footballer has been put into a coma and left with a scar around his neck after he was struck by lightning during training.

Ivan Zaborsky is fighting for his life after the terrifying incident in Orekhovo-Zuevo, near Moscow.

The teenage goalkeeper, who was training separately from his teammates, was wearing a metal chain around his neck which was struck by the lightning.

It is claimed the sky was clear when the lightning struck at the FC Znamya Truda weekend practice session.

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Amazingly, the video appears to show him kick the ball from the edge of the penalty area even after he is struck.

He collapses to the ground and his coaches and teammates rush towards him.

His trainer Anton Basov performed a heart massage and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

The unconscious goalie was rushed to a local hospital and then transferred by helicopter to a clinic in Moscow.

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His girlfriend Yelena told Podyem media:

“He is in stable condition.

“He regained consciousness but due to a strong painful shock he had to be put back into a coma.

“His parents are at his bedside.

He has a scar around his neck where the lightning hit his chain, and that his lung was damaged. He needs time to stabilise.’

Zaborsky’s sister Karina Zaborovskaya said:

“He woke several times, but doctors were scared to take a risk, and he was put back to coma.”

She said:

“Doctors say that he was born under a lucky star. I still can’t comprehend it all. I cannot understand how it could happen

“There were no clouds above the stadium before and during the training session, nothing signalled trouble.”

She praised the coaching staff who ‘saved his life’ with their prompt action.

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