Sports festival ends with colorful closing ceremony

  • Host Delta wins with 648 medals

Hosts Delta have emerged as champions of the 21st National Sports Festival as the competition curtain fell on Saturday at the packed Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba.

The Delta team topped the medal table with more than double their gold haul in last year’s edition, after winning 320 gold, 200 silver and 128 bronze, for a total of 648 medals, while the team de Bayelsa was in second place with 132 gold, 115 silver and 90 bronze. The Edo team finished third with 78 gold, 94 silver, and 167 bronze.

This win marks Team Delta’s seventh straight NSF win.

The 12-day sports festival left fans with many memories as Delta’s Ese Ukpeseraye won eight medals in the cycling event to become the only athlete to win gold in all of her cycling races.

Rivers State’s one-legged Abraham Okechukwu also performed brilliantly, winning gold in the high jump and setting a new national record in the process; as well as the death of the Imo boxer, Chukwuemeka Igboanugo.

The closing ceremony began with much fanfare with different states showing off the best they had to offer on stage to the amazement and joy of the crowd, who filled the stadium to the brim with many having to stand up as there were no seats left.

The Minister for Youth Development and Sports, Sunday Dare, representing the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (ret.), praised the hosts from Delta State for the way they organized the festival and called for the next host state to maintain the same level of consistency.

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