With Additional Reporting By Oyinlola Awonuga Balogun [The New Diplomat’s Entertainment, Sports & Style Desk]
Delta State has been declared winners of the 21st National Sports Festival (NSF) — Edo 2020 games, having hauled a total of 384 gold medals from most of the festival 38 events.
Delta again showed superior sporting prowess with 158 gold, 116 silver and 110 silver. Edo State came second with 351 medals while Bayelsa received 169 medals for the third position. Teams from Rivers, Lagos and Oyo respectively clinched 33, 32 and 31 gold medals to finish 4th, 5th and 6th in that order.
Akwa-Ibom had 20 gold to make the 7th position; Ogun finished 8th after hauling 16 gold medals, while Kano finished 9th behind Ogun with 11 gold; and Imo completed the top 10 with its 10 gold medals at the competition.
The New Diplomat reports that the victory in Benin city is Team Delta’s 6th consecutive triumph at the NSF.
By this feat, Delta will keep the national sports festival trophy.
The chairman, Delta State Sports Commission, Chief Tonobok Okowa’s joy knew no bounds when his state won the hosting right for the next National Sports Festival in 2022.
Meanwhile, Akwa Ibom female 4×4 relay team became the last female gold medalist at the tournament. The golden quartet includes Esther Okon, Imaobong Uko, Abasiono Akpan and Success Duruzo.
The 12-day long sporting festival left fans with resounding memories and flashes to include: Bayelsa’s Ifiezegbe Gagbe won 15 medals at the swimming event to emerge the most decorated athlete of the games; Amina Idris of Lagos state also gained global stardom when she won gold in Taekwondo Poomsae despite being heavy with an eight-month-old pregnancy; 10-year-old Stephanie Onusiriuka won three medals in gymnastics.
The games had suffered several postponements due to Covid-19 pandemic which eventually led to it being staged in April 2021, a year from its initial schedule.
However, it was successfully held despite initial reports that the Local Organising Committee (LOC) were planning to cancel the event after it had kick-started due to financial constraints. The issues were later resolved as federal government pledged its commitment to the games.
- See Medals Tally on final day: