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BATSHUAYI STRIKES AS CHELSEA CLINCH PREMIER LEAGUE TITLE

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Chelsea have won the Premier League title after defeating West Bromwich Albion 1-0 at the Hawthorns.

A late goal from substitute Michy Batshuayi   gave the Blues three points, which mean they hold an unassailable 10-point advantage over Tottenham.

It is the sixth time that the Stamford Bridge side have won England’s top flight and the fourth time since 2004-05 that they have claimed the Premier League title.

Their campaign has been one of virtual unabated excellence since a sticky period in September, when they lost successive matches against Liverpool and Arsenal saw them drop as far as eighth.

Manager Antonio Conte, who arrived in the summer to guide the team after a disappointing 2015-16 season, thereafter altered his side to play with three at the back, and that proved the catalyst for a 13-match winning streak that proved to be the decisive run as they claimed the crown.

Conte’s transformation of Chelsea from fallen champions to Premier League title winners inside 12 months was completed with victory at West Bromwich Albion – a remarkable success story in his first season at Stamford Bridge.

The 47-year-old inherited a squad that had declined from domestic superpower to mid-table mediocrity amid acrimony and the sacking of title-winning manager Jose Mourinho. But he has shown the personality, tactical brilliance and sure touch to put them back at the top of the English game.

The Blues lost London derbies against Spurs and Crystal Palace, while they also went down against a Manchester United side led by Jose Mourinho, sacked 18 months earlier as they made a woeful start to their title defence.

Ironically, though, Conte’s men seemed to be aided by their lack of European football, as it left their squad free to focus on domestic matters as their chief rivals faltered.

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SERENA WILLIAMS HOLDS BRIDAL SHOWER

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Serena Williams was showered with love by family and friends to celebrate her upcoming nuptials to Reddit’s Alexis Ohanian.

People magazine reported that Williams celebrated at South Beach’s 1 Hotel in Miami surrounded by 20 loved ones, including her three sisters and mom. They did yoga and meditated, got foot rubs and hung out by the luxury hotel’s pool.

“The shower really reflected Serena’s girlie and detail-oriented personality,” her friend and L.A. event planner Val Vogt of VLV Group told the publication. “There were lots of surprises for her throughout the weekend.”

People shared exclusive photos on Instagram on Thursday, including one of Serena with Venus.

The tennis superstar and Ohanian announced their engagement in December. In April, she announced she was pregnant with their first child with an accidental Snapchat post. She found out she was expecting two days before the Australian Open ― which she won.

“I was nervous. I wasn’t quite sure what to think, but I knew that at that moment, it was really important for me to just focus,” she said during a TED conference.

Williams also took some time to visit Disney’s Pandora: World of Avatar in Orlando, Florida. She shared a photo of her dressed in Avatar garb, looking like she had a blast.

So much to celebrate!

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JUVENTUS QUALIFY FOR UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL AFTER DEFEATING MONACO 2-1

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Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri couldn’t hide his joy as his well tutored side powered into the Champions League final on Tuesday night after strikes from Mario Mandzukic and former Barcelona player, Dani Alves despite a consolation effort from Monaco whizkid Kylian Mbappe. Juventus will now face either Real Madrid or Atletico Madrid in the UEFA Champions League final in Cardiff, Wales…More photos after the cut…

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FIFA overturns Messi four-game ban

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FIFA on Friday overturned Barcelona star Lionel Messi’s four-game ban from international matches imposed for swearing at an assistant referee, saying there was not enough evidence to support the stiff punishment.

“The FIFA Appeal Committee has upheld the appeal lodged by the Argentine Football Association, on behalf of the player Lionel Messi, against the decision taken by the FIFA Disciplinary Committee, lifting the sanctions imposed on him as a result,” a FIFA statement said.

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‘It’s about time for me to buy an NBA team’ – Floyd Mayweather

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Retired American boxer, Floyd Mayweather has indicated interest in buying a NBA team.
Today Mayeather had a meeting with Magic Johnson a retired professional basketball player and current president of basketball operations of the Los Angeles Lakers.
After the meeting, he shared a photo on Instagram with the caption, ‘It’s about time for me to buy an NBA team, if you’re ready to sell your NBA team, please get in touch with me’.
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Check out Anthony Joshua’s customized N75m Range Rover with diamonds stitched into seats

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World heavyweight champion, Anthony Joshua took delivery of a bespoke Range Rover SV Autobiography Dynamic shortly before his Saturday night fight with Wladimir Klitschko, who he knocked out in the 11th round to retained his IBF title and claimed the WBA and IBO.
The new whip which was presented by Jaguar Land Rover includes a number of amazing features just for the boxer, including door handles with unique boxing glove pattern surrounds, name-inscribed treadplates, a chrome B-pillar badge with AJ’s signature, and a custom equipment storage unit for all Joshua’s gear among others. The amazing SUV is said to cost £150,000 (N75m)
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Chelsea Legend John Terry set to leave the club at the end of this season, after 22 years

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John Terry and Chelsea Football Club Monday jointly announced that the captain will leave the club at the end of the season. Terry has played for Chelsea 713 times since his debut in 1998, scoring 66 goals. He is the club’s third highest all-time appearance-maker and has captained Chelsea a record 578 times.

In his statement announcing his exit at the end of the season, Terry said:

‘After 22 years there is so much to say and so many people to thank at this great football club. From coaches, team-mates and staff to the fans who have given me so much support down the years, I can’t thank you enough. There will be opportunities for me to speak further about this over the coming weeks’.

He continued to say:

‘I will decide on my future in due course, but for now I am committed to helping the team achieve success this season.  ‘The club and I have always had a fantastic relationship, which will continue beyond my playing days. We had some really positive talks but with everything taken into careful consideration I have decided it’s the right time for me to leave. I’ve always been conscious that I depart at the right time, in the right way, and I feel that the end of this season is the right time for the club and I. I feel I still have plenty to offer on the pitch but understand that opportunities here at Chelsea will be limited for me. I’m eager to carry on playing and so will be looking to continue with a new challenge. I will of course always be a Blue and am desperate to end my final season as a Chelsea player with more silverware.  Finally, words cannot describe the love I have for our football club and our amazing Chelsea fans. I would like to thank each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart for the unbelievable support you’ve shown me over the years.

You mean the world to me and every trophy we’ve won during my time at the club we’ve won together. I will never forget the incredible journey we’ve been on. Thank you so much for everything.’

Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia said:

‘Everyone at Chelsea would like to place on record our thanks to John for all he has done for this football club. He has been an outstanding player, inspirational captain and has always demonstrated an exceptional commitment to the cause.  ‘In that time, Chelsea has grown into one of the world’s top clubs and it is only right that John’s contribution is recognised. He will always be held in the highest regard by everybody at Stamford Bridge and we look forward to welcoming him back in the future.’

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Mikel scores his first CSL goal as Tianjin win

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Super Eagles captain Mikel Obi was on target as Tianjin TEDA secured their first Chinese Super League win of the season on Sunday after three games.

Tianjin beat visiting Chongqing Lifan 2-0, with a goal from Mikel in the 48th minute.

Their other goal was an own goal from Chongqing Lifan’s Goran Milovic in the 82nd minute.

The goal was Mikel’s first after three games in the Chinese Super League, since joining Tianjin TEDA from Chelsea in the January transfer window.

Also in action for Tianjin TEDA was Mikel’s Nigeria teammate Brown Ideye who was replaced in the 65th minute by Dong Wang.

The game was Ideye’s second league appearance for Tianjin TEDA.

The win means  are now eighth in the league on four points, after drawing once and losing once in their first two games of the season.

NAN

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Brazil becomes first country to qualify for Russia 2018 World Cup

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Brazil has officially become the first country to qualify for next year’s World cup in Russia after the South American nation defeated Paraguay 3-0 on Wednesday morning, and then watched Peru’s inflict a 2-1 victory over Uruguay.

The win over Paraguay, inspired by country captain Neymar, was Brazil’s 13th match without a loss, booking their place in Russia.
In Brazil’s group, Colombia, Uruguay and Chile occupy the remaining three guaranteed World Cup spots..

Brazil even though they lost their first game during qualifying, to Chile, have not lost in the 13 subsequent matches. A run which means Brazil sits on 33 points after 14 matches, with 10 wins, one loss and three draws.

“When I look at my family — the players — and when we talk to the fans and see how happy they are, that’s when you think ‘I’m part of something very special,’” Head coach, Tite said after Brazil’s qualification was confirmed.
Congrats to them!
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Mikel Obi’s partner, Olga recollects how she met him at her father’s house

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Olga, the mother of Mikel’s twin daughters, took to her IG page minutes ago to celebrate their love. Recalling how she met him at her parents house 5 years ago and how they went on their first date a year after, she wrote:

“Five years ago today you walked into my parents house and into my life. A year later on that exact day we went on our first date, you are persistent @mikel_john_obi. I am so lucky to share my life with you and our precious little peanuts. Love you #March29 #pooh1 #pooh2 #pooh3 #pooh4”

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Nigerian Women in Sports :Nigeria’s Amusan posts 2017 world’s fastest 100m hurdles time

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Tobi Amusan set the world leading time in women 400m hurdles… at the weekend. She is now the second fastest Nigerian of all time

 

Tobi Amusan, who made the semifinals of the 2016 Rio Olympics, at the weekend clocked a 12.63 seconds lifetime and 2017 world leading 100 metres hurdles best on at the University of Texas in El Paso (UTEP) Springtime meet held at the school ground, the Kidd Field.

The time, which broke a 34-year-old UTEP record, also shot the petite sprint hurdler up as the second fastest Nigerian of all-time in the event behind Africa and Nigeria’s record holder, Glory Alozie (12.44).

The Nigerian wasn’t surprised she ran that fast. “I didn’t have any idea,” Amusan was quoted as saying by the El Paso Times when asked if she knew how fast she had run. “It felt so good, so easy. I wasn’t surprised. I have been working hard ever since I got back from (indoor) nationals. I don’t go into competitions with the idea of running a time. I go into competition trying to execute my race. It showed.”

To put her time in perspective, it would have finished last season tied for the 10th best time in the world and the best in the NCAA. As she crossed the line, her coach, Lacena Golding-Clarke, thought she had messed it up on her hand time.“My stopwatch gave me an inclination of what it was, but I was waiting for the official time,” Golding-Clarke said. “I had 12.4-something (a hand time in the 100 hurdles should be .24 faster than the fully-automatic time) and I thought, ‘That’s not possible.’ I was not thinking she was ready to run that fast. Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised. She’s trained so hard.

“I’m so, so happy for her. I was thinking maybe a sub-13, maybe a 12.90 we can work with, but to run 12.63 as a sophomore – that’s better than my (personal record). I ran pro for 11 years and my best was 12.65. And she’s just a sophomore,” Golding-Clarke told the El Paso Times.

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Roger Federer wins his fifth Indian Wells title

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Two months after winning the Australian Open, 35-year-old Roger Federer beat compatriot Stan Wawrinka 6-4 7-5 to become the oldest champion in the tournament’s history, overtaking Jimmy Connors who was 31 when he won in 1984.

The Indian Wells is considered by many professionals to be the biggest tournament outside the majors and Federer said he had defied even his own expectations.

In his words,

 ‘for me, the dream run continues. I’m not as surprised as I was in Australia, but still this comes as a big, big surprise to me, nevertheless, to win here again and beating the players that I did and the way I did. I couldn’t be more happy. It’s an absolutely huge start to the year for me. Last year I didn’t win any titles. I don’t think I was in any finals except Brisbane. The change is dramatic, and it feels great.’

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Commonwealth Games 2022: Durban, South Africa Rejected From Hosting 2022 Games

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The 2022 Commonwealth Games was to be the first time the event has been held in Africa. However,it
will no longer be held in Durban, South Africa.

David Grevemberg, chief executive of the Commonwealth Games Federation, said the city did not meet the criteria set by his organisation, and the search for a new host city had already begun.

Durban was awarded the Games in September 2015 and was due to be the first African city to host the event, which was first held in 1930.

Liverpool and Birmingham have expressed interest in staging the 2022 edition.

The Commonwealth Games are held every four years and feature athletes from more than 50 countries, mostly former British colonies.

Last month, South Africa’s sports minister Fikile Mbalula indicated Durban may not be able to host the 2022 event because of financial constraints.

“We gave it our best shot but we can’t go beyond. If the country says we don’t have this money, we can’t,” he said.

Grevemberg said:

“We are disappointed but it does not diminish our commitment to the African continent.We have had to postpone these ambitions to a later time. We all share disappointment that this ambition needs to be postponed right now.We remain committed to the inspiring potential of a Games in the continent.”

Grevemberg said the South African government had never signed off on the decision for Durban to host the Games.

“We have a host city contract,” he said. “It was signed by all parties on the day except for the South African government.

“We have engaged with the government to really try to work with their current circumstances but also uphold the commitments that were outlined in their bid. They were unable to do that at this time and we have had to look after the citizens and communities that our events serve.”

Grevemberg said an announcement on a new host city would be made by the end of the year.

“Discussions with a number of interested parties are under way,” he said. “I am confident an alternative host city will be found and that we will have an inspirational Games for the athletes and fans across the Commonwealth.”

A spokesperson for Liverpool City Council said: “We had heard rumours that Durban might be unable to deliver the Commonwealth Games in 2022 and have already indicated to the government that we are very willing to host them instead.”

Birmingham had already expressed an interest in hosting the 2026 Games.

Councillor Ian Ward, deputy leader of the city council, said: “We are aware of the decision from the Commonwealth Games Federation to seek a new host for the 2022 Games.

“Here in Birmingham we are already in the advanced stages of producing a detailed feasibility study on what would be needed for a truly memorable Games in the city.

“That is due to be completed in the coming weeks and we are in close contact with the government about the developing situation.

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