SENEGAL 2020 AFRICAN JUDO OPEN Cross Riverian Returns With Gold

Nigeria’s Enku Ekuta from Cross River State has won a gold medal at the fourth African Judo Open, which took place
in Dakar, Senegal. She defeated the 2019 African Games champion, Helene Dombeu of Cameroun in the final of the 63kg women category.
Ekuta sponsored by Accugas, a Savannah Energy Company, qualified for the final after beating Carolina Delgado of Cape Verde and Anastasiya Alexander Nenova of South Africa in the preliminary pool.
This victory is the Boki-born judoka’s first continental open gold medal and the second time she will beat the 33-year-old Dombeu at a continental open. The Nigerian Champion won with an ippon after over three minutes of the keenly contested bout, which saw both fighters accumulating two penalties each. The victory has now added 100 IJF world-ranking points to Ekuta’s profile, as she continues to garner Points to secure qualification for the 2021 Summer Olympic Games, which holds in Tokyo, Japan. Speaking on her victory, Ekuta said, “I feel excited winning my first continental gold. I want to thank God for this victory. I also thank my sponsor, Accugas, for
ensuring that I had all the support I needed to participate in the competition. The Nigeria Judo Federation has also been supportive. My performance in Dakar will motivate me to work harder in upcoming competitions”.
The Head of Stakeholder Relations and Communication, Savannah Energy, Nkoyo Etuk , congratulated Ekuta for the victory in Senergal. “We congratulate Enku Ekuta on the remarkable victory in Dakar. She was the only judoka from Nigeria who participated at the fourth African Judo Open. “Enku’s performance has justified the confidence we
have in her talent, which inspired the deal to sponsor her training and competition to ensure she qualifies for and participates at the 2021 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. We are optimistic that she will win more continental open to secure enough points to qualify for the Olympics”.

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Poised to reposition Rovers Football Club, Calabar, back to her glory days as one of the best in the Nigerian Premiere League, the Commissioner for Sports and Cinematography, Chief Offu Aya inaugurated a five man committee, with a
charge to review the technical crew of the Club as well as recruit professional, passionate and goal oriented Coaches to revive and return the Club to her prestigious position in the premiership.
Speaking during the inauguration of the Committee, Commissioner Offu Aya recalled that Rovers FC, founded in 1976, has nurtured and produced several indigenous football stars who have played in National and International
competitions, adding that such feats need to be instituted back into the club, hence the inauguration of the committee. He added that due consultations were made before picking members of the Committee who had played and even coached the Club at various stages of their career, stating that he believes strongly that they will do all it takes to ensure that Rovers FC becomes the best again. According to Chief Offu Aya, the act is a rescue mission by indigenous explayers of the club, informing that before the advent of Carnival Calabar, Rovers and Pelican Stars
Football Clubs were the major projectors of the State. He stated that there is every reason to jealously ensure that these Clubs do not die prematurely, revealing that the Committee members are part of the history of Rovers FC and their responsibility will also include the recruitment of players and he is confident that they will be free, fair and avoid all forms of sentiments in the selection process.

“…the Commissioner for Sports and Cinematography, Chief Offu Aya inaugurated a five-man committee, with a charge to review the technical crew of the club as well as recruit professional, passionate and goal oriented coaches to revive and return the club to her
prestigious position…”

Members of the Committee as inaugurated by the Commissioner are : Mr. Ekanem Ekpenyong Chairman; Mr. Ede m
Ephraim; Mr. Etta Egbe; Mr. Egan Adat; and Mr. Tom Aniah – Secretary. Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Rev. Ayo Egba lauded the initiative and called on the members of the inaugurated Committee to work assiduously to select nothing short of the best Coach for Rovers FC without fear or favour, stating that prayers should
also be said for the disbandment on the Club to be lifted.
In his remarks, the Chairman, Rovers FC, Mr. Ejen Ebam, thanked the Ministry for the initiative which he said has not happened in the Club for a long time, adding that if the Committee accepts the charge and responsibility of
recruiting Coaches for the Club, then it behooves on them to select the best man for the job.
In his acceptance speech, the Chairman of the Committee, Mr. Ekanem Ekpenyong thanked the Ministry for finding them worthy and for the opportunity to serve, promising that the Committee will do its best in selecting the best Coach for the job and report submitted in a week’s time.
By Esther Okoi CRS-MOI

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