Nasarawa Contingents End 2020 Sports Festival On High …Champions, Delta State To Host 2022 Edition
By Eche Amos
Curtains were, Wednesday, drawn as the two-week long Edo 2020 National Sports Festival, NSF came to an exhilarating end at the state-of-the-art Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City, Edo State.
Some spectacular musical performances by popular musical artistes, Teni, Joeboy, Franchize, NAS T. and another beautiful rendition by the Elexecura Choir had heralded activities marking the closing ceremony, an event that witnessed the presence of Nigeria’s Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Hon. Chief Sunday Dare(represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Nebolisa Anako), Edo State Governor, H.E. Godwin Obaseki, his Deputy, Hon. Philip Shuaibu, both former Minister and Permanent Secretary of Youth and Sports Development, Barr. Solomon Dalung and Olusade Adesola, SWAN National President, Honour Sirawoo, amongst other high-profile dignitaries and contingent members from participating States.
After the 42 kilometres Marathon Athletics event was shifted to Thursday morning from the scheduled date, following the sorting out of some misunderstandings, Team Nasarawa finished the Festival on 19th position with four Gold, three Silver and Twelve Bronze medals, with high hope for gold in the rescheduled Marathon race as the Festival’s current marathon champion, Philibus Sharubutu, is representing the Solid Minerals’ State.
Though two medals won by Team Nasarawa, including one Silver and one Bronze, which, when added, would make twenty-one medals won in total, weren’t reflected on the final medal’s table, even though organizers said it would be sorted out in due course.
However, defending champions, Team Delta, emerged winners of the 20th National Sports Festival, with a total of 384 medals, comprising 158 gold, 116 silver and 110 bronze medals, making it the third time the oil-rich State has won the Festival, having emerged champions in the last two editions in Lagos (2012) and F.C.T, Abuja (2018), respectively.
Host, Edo State, came 2nd with a total of 341 medals, which include 129 gold, 104 silver and 108 bronze, while Bayelsa State clinched the 3rd position with a total of 169 medals, comprising 56 gold, 55 silver and 58 bronze.
At the close of activities, Delta State was named as host of the 2022 edition of the Sports Festival, an announcement that was well received by the South-South State, after beating off stiff competitions from Imo, Ebonyi, Kano, Kaduna, and Ogun States respectively.
Team Nasarawa’s performance at the Festival was adjudged the best since Kada 2009 in Kaduna State, with more medals won and needs of contingent members met as at when due, a development made possible by the result-driven leadership style of the Executive Governor of Nasarawa State, His Excellency, Engr. Abdullahi Sule, and the pragmatic and prudent disposition of the State’s Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development, Hon. Othman Bala Adam.
Team Nasarawa will now return to their base ahead of better preparation ahead of next year’s edition in Asaba, Delta State.