Delta State on Sunday won the 19th National Sports Festival in Abuja to successfully defend the title they won at the last edition in Lagos in 2012.
Delta scooped a total of 352 medals: 163 gold,88 silver and 101 bronze to open up a wide margin over Rivers State, who finished in second position with 69 gold, 58 silver and 67 bronze medals. Third-placed Edo State won 47 gold, 41 silver and 53 bronze medals.
Lagos State came fourth with a medal haul of 146: 36 gold, 37 silver and 73 bronze. Bayelsa (32 gold, 56 silver, 48 bronze), Akwa Ibom (32 gold, 26 silver, 34 bronze), FCT (21 gold, nine silver, 24 bronze), Kano (18 gold, 27 silver, 24 bronze), Oyo (16 gold, 35 silver, 44 bronze) and Ondo(15 gold, nine silver, 23 bronze) completed the top 10 teams on the medals table.
In some of the final events decided on Sunday, Fadekemi Olude of Rivers came first in the women’s 20km walk while Asado Ikechukwu of Edo State came second. Bolanle Kareem of Yobe State finished in the third place. In 4×400 mixed relays final, Bayelsa came first, Delta came second and Rivers finished in the third position.
Sports minister, Solomon Dalung, in his speech, announced that Edo State had been picked to host the 20th edition of the event in 2020. He said the choice was made after thorough evaluation and assessment of preparedness of the bidding states, while calling on the state to ensure that it hosted a perfect Games. He said the ministry would provide logistics and technical support for the successful hosting of the 2020 Games.
While accepting the hosting rights on behalf of the people and Government of Edo State, the state governor, Godwin Obaseki, said the state had the capacity to host an excellent event, having been part of the Games’ history since inception.
President of the Nigeria Olympic Committee, Abu Gumel, called on the Ministry of Sports and Youth Development to begin preparations immediately for the coming international competitions by bringing together the exceptional talents discovered at the Games for camping.
He said, “We have some international competitions coming, it is therefore important to improve on the performance of the athletes discovered at the Games early.”