Sports festival ends with colourful closing ceremony

  • Hosts Delta win with 648 medals

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

Team Delta topped the medals table with more than double their gold haul at last year’s edition, after winning 320 gold, 200 silver, and 128 bronze, totalling 648 medals, while Team Bayelsa came second with 132 gold, 115 silver and 90 bronze. Team Edo finished third with 78 gold, 94 silver, and 167 bronze.

This victory marks Team Delta’s seventh consecutive NSF triumph.

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

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

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

The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, who represented the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), praised hosts Delta State for the manner in which they hosted the festival and asked that the next state that would host maintain the same level of consistency.

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