Delta, Abia win first gold medals as 7th National Youth Games begin
Gombe Competes In Only One Event
Defending champions of the National Youth Games, Team Delta, and Abia State began the 7th National Youth Games on a good note, yesterday, winning the first gold medals of the competition holding at the Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba.
Delta State’s Goodness Ogodo won the first gold medal from 45kg weightlifting by lifting 44kg soon after the commencement of the competition.
The Games, which glamorous opening ceremony, was witnessed by the cream of Nigerian sports, including Delta State Governor, Sheriff Oborevwori, and Sports Minister, John Owan-Enoh, is featuring about 4,742 children from across the country.
That feat was matched by Abia State’s Esther Ezenwa, who got one gold and a bronze medal, also from weightlifting.
Meanwhile, Gombe State is probably the only participating state from the North East that will contest for medals in one sport (athletics) at Asaba 2023 NYG.
The Gombe State Sports Commission actually had trials for the National Youth Games, but the government allegedly failed to release funds for the state to participate in the competition.
A philanthropists and sports loving son of Gombe State, Ahmed Shuaibu Gara Gombe, had to sponsor over 25 athletes and officials from his newly established Athletics Academy to represent the state in Asaba.
The Director of the Academy and Technical Assistant to Alhaji Gara Gombe, Prince Simon Ayuba, explained that Gombe State had to be represented, instead of being absent at this national carnival, insisting that the talented athletes are in Asaba to get needed exposure and to strengthen their bond and belief in ‘One Nigeria.’
“They are here to witness other young boys and girls doing sports from different parts of Nigeria because all of them are visiting this part of the country for the first time.
“We are ready to participate at the National Youth Games, but not too crazy about winning medals. If medals come, we will thank God,” Ayuba stated in their camp in Asaba.
Some of the young talents from Gombe Athletics Academy have countered their boss’s submissions, saying they are ready to contest for medals in Asaba.
Blessing Ehi-Ikpa, Samuel Okeke and Zainab Nafada assured of their readiness to fight for medals in the 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, long jump and in the relays.
The Gombe athletics contingent have been screened and cleared for the competition, which opening ceremony held yesterday evening at the Stephen Keshi Stadium.
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