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Delta emerges champions, as National Youth Games end in Ilorin


 Victor Onogagamue

Victor Onogagamue

After days of competition, the second edition of Nigeria’s National Youth Games came to a close yesterday in Ilorin, Kwara State capital with Team Delta topping the medals’ table.

Delta got a total of 26 medals, made up of nine gold, seven silver and 10 bronze to beat Team Ogun to the second position. Ogun had 25 medals made up of eight gold, 12 silver and five bronze, just as the host, Kwara State, was third with 21 medals comprising eight gold, seven silver and six bronze.

Akwa Ibom came fourth with eight gold, seven silver and five bronze, while Anambra finished fifth on the table with a total of 18 medals made up of seven gold, three silver and eight bronze.

Speaking with The Guardian shortly after the closing ceremony yesterday, Director General of Delta Sports Commission, Victor Onogagamue, that the state prepared well for the competition, adding that both athletes and officials were well motivated by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa.

Since the return to democratic government in 1999, Delta has ruled the nation’s sports, including the National Sports Festival, which it has won five out of seven editions. Under the administration of Chief James Ibori (1999-2007), Delta won three editions of the sports festival at Bauchi 2000, Abuja 2004 and Gateway 2006. The state finished second at Edo 2002 behind the host state. Under Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan’s administration, Delta won the festival twice at KADA 2009 and Eko 2012 after finishing second at Garden City 2011 behind the host state.

Onogagamue said yesterday that Delta would be the state to beat anytime the National Sports Festival is hosted. The fiesta has suffered postponement since Eko 2012.

“This is a new regime and we are gradually building a solid team that will do the state proud at the senior level,” Onogagamue said.Other states on the medals table at the end of the National Youth Games in Ilorin yesterday includes Ebonyi, Kano, Nasarawa, Kaduna, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Rivers, Niger and Jigawa.

States like Lagos and Cross River failed to show up for the competition. The chairman, Lagos State Sports Commission, Deji Tinubu told The Guardian last week that the Center of Excellence stayed away from the Youth Games in Ilorin due to logistics reasons.

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