20th National Sports Festival wrapped up amid pomp and pageantry

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20th National Sports Festival wrapped up amid pomp and pageantry



The 20th edition of the National Sports Festival was held in Edo State between the 2nd of April and the 14th of April with hundreds of athletes participating in the games held in the Sports Festival for their respective states.

There were even celebrity appearances in the Festival that lasted for about two weeks. Here are some of the highlights of the competition;

Edo State Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu was part of the Edo State team that won gold in the men's football competition as they defeated Team Lagos in the final.

The women's football event was also won by Team Edo.

In Taekwondo, Lagos State's Aminat Idrees won a gold medal in the Mixed Poomsae category despite being 8 months pregnant at the time of the event.

Former Big Brother Naija housemate, Mike Edwards participated in the men's high jump contest and finished with a bronze medal for Team Rivers in the event.

10 year old gymnast Stephanie Onusiriuka was the youngest to win a medal at the Festival after she picked up four medals for Anambra state, including one gold medal, two silver medals and a bronze medal in gymnastics.

Edo State women's cricket team were utterly dominant in the women's cricket events as they picked up gold medals in all three women's cricket events including the six a side tournament, T20 tournament and ODI series.

Team Delta had international long jumper, Ese Brume on their team as she participated in the 100m sprint event as well as the 4×100m relay competition where she won a gold medal with the team.

The team also contained the world's fastest woman this year, Grace Nwokocha who won three gold medals in the Festival in the 100m event, 200m event and the 4×100m relay event.

Nwokocha sealed her qualification for the Tokyo Olympics with a personal best time of 11.09 seconds, the fastest time by any woman in the world in 100m this year.

She also qualified for the 200m event in Tokyo, taking it to 10 slots Nigeria has in the Olympics already.

Gagbe Ifiaezibe of Bayelsa State won 15 medals in the competition for her state.
Team Gombe picked up the gold medal in the men's basketball event.

The youngest athlete at the World Athletics Relays scheduled for May 1st and May 2nd in Poland will be 17 year old Imaobong Nse Uko, who broke out at the National Sports Festival.

The sprinter is expected to be part of the 4×400m relay team.

Team Delta were crowned the winners of the National Sports Festival for a third consecutive edition after they finished with 158 gold medals, 116 silver medals and 110 bronze medals.

Team Edo came second as they finished with 129 gold medals, 104 silver medals and 108 bronze medals. Team Bayelsa finished in third place with 56 gold medals, 55 silver medals and 58 bronze medals.

Team Taraba finished bottom as they were able to win only 2 bronze medals.
It was not all laughs however, as the Festival was on the verge of cancellation on April 8th, just 6 days after its commencement when the LOC claimed that they had not received funds from the government to proceed with the Festival.

This was eventually resolved. Similarly, Team Ogun representatives beat up the referee and their opponents after they lost a boxing match to Team Lagos in the Festival.

Delta State have been awarded hosting rights for the next edition of the Festival to be held in 2022, and we would see if they can win it on home soil once again.










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