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L-R: Executive Director, Heritage Bank,  Mary Akpobome; The Heritage Bank-Lagos State Skoolimpics Ambassador, Mary Onyali; Managing Director/CEO, Ifie Sekibo and The Director General, Lagos State Sports Commission, Dewunmi Ogunsanya representing the Lagos State Sports Commissioner, during the opening ceremony of Skoolimpics at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, in Lagos …yesterday. PHOTO: SULEIMAN HUSAINI

L-R: Executive Director, Heritage Bank, Mary Akpobome; The Heritage Bank-Lagos State Skoolimpics Ambassador, Mary Onyali; Managing Director/CEO, Ifie Sekibo and The Director General, Lagos State Sports Commission, Dewunmi Ogunsanya representing the Lagos State Sports Commissioner, during the opening ceremony of Skoolimpics at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, in Lagos …yesterday. PHOTO: SULEIMAN HUSAINI

The Chief Executive Officer/Managing Director, Heritage Bank, Ifie Sekibo, has set aside a N10m trust fund for any athlete that can break the 200 metre record set by ex-international, and Skoolimpics Ambassador, Mary Onyali.

The MD while declaring the pilot edition of the Heritage Bank-Lagos State Skoolimpics 2016 open said he would be setting aside the sum of N10m that would be yielding interests and handed over to any athlete discovered at the competition who was able to break Onyali’s record.

Onyali’s 200-metre record of 22.07secs was set 20 years ago at the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games and no athlete has been able to break the record.

The MD also applauded other sponsors like Lagos State Government, CWAY, Mr. Biggs, Etransact, Verve, Willson’s Lemonade, Lucozade Sport who partnered with the bank in their quest to develop the youths.

“Skoolimpics has come to stay and this is just the pilot edition,” he said.

“We have planned and met with people and today we all can see the results of the planning. I am happy that we have somebody as Mary Onyali as an ambassador because she was discovered from school competitions like this.

“The target is to build future champions from amidst all these students and I am looking forward to seeing an athlete that will break our Skoolimpics brand ambassador’s 200m record.

“I am going to start an endowment fund with N10million for anyone that can break her record in the next 10 to 20 years. The money will be increasing in an interest-yielding account and whosoever breaks that record will take the money…and with that I declare this year’s Skoolimpics open.”

Five events will be competed for across two venues, Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere and Rowe Park, Yaba. The events are athletics, basketball, table tennis, swimming and handball.

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JUST IN: Man United Extend Ighalo’s Loan To January 2021

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Manchester United have extended striker Odion Ighalo’s loan from Shanghai Shenhua until the end of January 2021, the Premier League club said on Monday.

The 30-year-old made an impressive start to life at United, scoring four times in eight games after signing an initial loan deal until May 31 from the Chinese Super League club.

Ighalo’s current deal with Shanghai runs out in December 2022 and he is expected to sign a new contract until the end of 2024, Sky reported.

The Nigerian, who has scored two goals apiece for Man United in the Europa League and FA Cup, will hope to open his account in the Premier League when the season, suspended since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, resumes on June 17.

(Reuters/NAN)

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BREAKING: English Premier League Resumes June 17 With Man City vs Arsenal

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The Premier League season will resume on June 17, it has been confirmed.

Manchester City versus Arsenal will be one of the first matches to be played.

Aston Villa’s home clash with Sheffield United will also be played the same day to mark the return of the English top flight.

A full fixture list will then be played on the weekend of June 19 to 21, with the agreement coming after Premier League clubs met on Thursday to continue discussions over ‘Project Restart.

Details shortly…

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Ighalo May Leave Manchester United This Week

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Odion Ighalo looks set to leave Manchester United at the end of his loan spell this week, with parent club Shanghai Shenhua keen to have the striker back ahead of the start of the Chinese Super League season.

Ighalo has been a hit at Old Trafford since signing a loan deal on the final day of the January transfer window, scoring four times for his boyhood club.

But his loan spell looks set to end after eight appearances, with his initial deal only penned until May 31. United’s season will now extend well beyond that as a result of the coronavirus pandemic that has caused a suspension to the campaign, with United not playing since their 5-0 demolition of LASK Linz on March 12.

United still has nine Premier League games to play and remain in the Europa League and the FA Cup. They are keen to keep Ighalo until the end of this season and have held discussions with Shanghai Shenhua about extending the loan deal.

However, the Chinese authorities are now hopeful of beginning the Chinese Super League season in late June or early July, and as a result his club is keen to have the 30-year-old striker back in the fold.

The initial loan came at a time when the CSL season was yet to begin and China was the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the country is now reporting far fewer cases and there is confidence the 2020 campaign could get underway within the next six weeks.

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