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African record spurs sprinter Blessing Okagbare
7 April 2018, 8:52 AM

Blessing Okagbare’s quest to successfully defend her Commonwealth Games 100 and 200 metres sprint titles will be boosted by her new African record over the longer distance.

Last month, the Nigerian shattered compatriot Mary Onyali’s 22-year-old mark of 22.07secs when she ran 22.04secs in Texas, the fastest time in the world this year.

It could provide a psychological edge for Okagbare, who is coming off an injury-hit 2017 and will face Olympic champion Elaine Thompson of Jamaica in the 200m in Gold Coast.

Onyali set the African record in Zurich in 1996, and the closest anyone had came to breaking it was when Marie Ta-Lou of the Ivory Coast ran 22.08secs in 2017.

Onyali said she was delighted it was her “daughter and sister” Okagbare who lowered her record.

“This will put her in the right frame of mind for the Commonwealth Games,” Onyali said. “She has been knocking for some years now and finally she has got it.

“For some time now she has not been in her right element, especially at the last world championships. But she went back, trained very hard and we can see the result of her perseverance.”

Okagbare has for many years now been Nigeria’s biggest medal hope at major athletics competitions, and winning the sprint double in Glasgow four years ago was a career highlight.

At the last Commonwealth Games, she won the 100m in a Games-record 10.85, and the 200m in 22.25. She also helped Nigeria win silver in the 4x100m relay with a time of 42.92.

Okagbare has an Olympic bronze in the long jump from Beijing 2008, and took 200m bronze at the 2013 world championships.

She has often struggled with her start, especially in the 100m, but if she gets that right, she should be among the medals.

The sprinter, who is married to a former Nigeria football star, will be 30 in October and has bounced back this season after her injury problems last year.

George Nene dies
7 April 2018, 8:46 AM

The former South African ambassador to Nigerian and Switzerland George Nene has died.

Nene who died yesterday was an ANC member who was once based in Lusaka, Zambia.

Nene worked for the International Relations Department after 1994. He retired from the department two years ago.

Exchanging rings at a wedding.
What’s your perfect age match?
14 February 2018, 9:11 AM

Age is nothing but a number when it comes to love, right?

OpenUp has recently analysed latest marriage statistics from Statistics South Africa that show which partnerships – based on age – are likely matches.

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, how do you and your partner fare? Find out below.

Farmworker murder irks South Africans
8 January 2018, 3:37 PM

Gauteng Agriculture and Economic Development MEC Lebogang Maile says he’s saddened and disgusted by the gruesome killing of a 32-year-old farmworker, who was allegedly shot dead by his employer, outside Krugersdorp.

It’s alleged that the farm owner shot the deceased after he had gone home to fetch food with the farmer’s tractor during lunch over the weekend.

The farmer accused him of attempting to steal the tractor.

Maile has sent his condolences to the family of the deceased….

“We want to call for calm and we also want to object to the killer being given bail because that can only create more tensions. And we think that the killer must remain in jail because he deserves to be in jail and not come out and for now, we would ask the community to work with the family in preparing for a decent send off to the deceased.”

Social media has been abuzz about the incident.

Makhura calls for review of govt regulations
7 December 2017, 9:08 PM

Gauteng Premier David Makhura has expressed frustration over the protracted disciplinary processes involving government officials accused of wrongdoing.

Makhura says it has become a culture for officials to delay disciplinary processes using government laws and regulations.

He has appointed an Ethics and Advisory Council to deal with corruption within the provincial government.

Makhura was speaking after delivering his Political Report in the Gauteng Legislature in Johannesburg.

“If someone was calling for the review of those regulations to swiftly deal with disciplinary processes I would support that. I would be the one who says, ‘Yes’, because it is frustrating to have protracted disciplinary processes and lots of money lost in the process. But also to make sure people are criminally prosecuted who are found to have stolen from the public.”

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