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Edo 2020 organisers to test-run facilities with athletics meet Saturday

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The tracks of the new Sam Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin, will come alive this weekend when the Edo 2020 LOC test runs the facilities for the 20th National Sports Festival scheduled for the city. PHOTO: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI.

As the countdown to the 20th National Sports Festival in Benin City hits the homestretch, organizers of the Edo 2020 have scheduled a track and field meet to test run the facilities at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium this weekend.

Technical Director of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Brown Ebewele confirmed yesterday that some of the best home-based athletes would feature in the meet ahead of the opening ceremony of the festival scheduled to begin on March 22.

Already, some selected athletes have been scheduled to run in the 100m, 400m, 800m and the relays (4x100m and the 4x400m).

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Ebewele who also doubles as the Coordinator of Team Edo, stretched that field events like High Jump (women), Long Jump (men) and Shot Put would be competed for honours in the test run meet.

“Already, we have entries from Delta, host Edo and few other states and the para-military sports teams like the NSCDC (Civil Defence) and the Police. These are two of the paramilitary institutions in the country with some of the best athletes in the country,” observed the former national decathlon Star.

Meanwhile, technical officials and some lawmakers from Abuja arrived in Benin yesterday to inspect the facilities provided by Edo State to host the 2020 Games.

Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki joined the inspection team shortly after the state’s Exco meeting.

Obaseki, who had earlier on Tuesday night done an unscheduled visit to the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium to check some of the facilities the contractor was putting finishing touches to, expressed his happiness at the speed with which the contractor was working day and night to meet the target of delivery one week before the opening ceremony.

While inspecting the ultramodern gymnasium hall, the Governor pointed out why the project must be completed. He also repeated the same thing at the beautiful squash courts.

“We cannot give room for any excuses. We must get the facilities ready as if Monday is the opening ceremony,” Obaseki said with his deputy, Philip Shaibu, who is directly in charge of the festival, giving approving nodding.

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