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Fencing: Nigeria to host African Championships

*Usmanov, Ambode to grace event

International Fencing Federation (FIE) has awarded Nigeria the hosting rights for the 2018 Junior/Cadet African Fencing Championships (J/C AFC).

The event which will take place from 26th February to 5th March at the Molade Okoya-Thomas Hall of the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos has been endorsed by Lagos State, with Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, schedule to attend the ceremony along the FIE President, Alisher Usmanov, who is Russia’s richest man and a major shareholder in Arsenal Football Club.

U.S. fencer Jonathan Tiomkin soars above Russian opponent Renal Ganeev in the bronze-medal bout of the men's team foil competition at the Athens Olympic Games. Russia went on to win, 45-38.
U.S. fencer Jonathan Tiomkin soars above Russian opponent Renal Ganeev in the bronze-medal bout of the men’s team foil competition at the Athens Olympic Games. Russia went on to win, 45-38.

According to the President of the Nigeria Fencing Federation, Adeyinka Samuel, this is the first time Nigeria will be hosting any international event in the sport as the country beats the challenges of Tunisia and Algeria who also bidded to host the championships.

The J/C AFC is an internationally recognised and FIE-approved tournament that provides a platform for fencers across Africa’s 31 registered nations to compete for world ranking points leading to the 2018 World Championships in Verona, Italy and the 2020 Olympics Games in Tokyo, Japan.

Other international dignitaries are also expected at the championship which is expected to attract over 150 fencers from about 25 African countries.

Samuel, a former top 100-ranked fencer, lauded Governor Ambode the support to host the event pointing that it would boost tourism and other businesses in the state.

“As Nigeria opens its doors for this epic event which invariably opens vistas of opportunities to the tourism industry, we urge the citizens to take advantage of the corporate, social and economic outcome of this tournament,” he said.

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