Edo in late rally, wins football, cycling gold medals
• Delta’s Nwokocha wins 400m women
Team Edo yesterday won the two gold medals in football (men and women), as well as the men’s cycling elimination contest, while Delta won the women’s 400 metres race on Day 12 of the National Sports Festival.
Edo beat Lagos girls 1-0 in the final of the women football event and defeated again in the men’s football 3-2 to take the two gold medals.
In the third-place match, FCT defeated Team Imo 4-3 on penalties after a 1-1 draw at regulation time, while Team Delta beat Kaduna 3-1 to go home with bronze medal.
Speaking at the end of the men’s football final, Edo Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu, who played in the game, said it was a win-win situation for both the Lagos and Edo teams.
I am excited that Team Edo won but for me, it was Lagos and Edo that won because this is a unity game. And you can see in the game that both Lagos and Edo teams were very, very good.
“To come back from two goals down to equalise and win is awesome. I will say the god of football and luck was on our side because the Lagos team did very well. So for me, both Lagos and Edo have won this game and that is why it is called the unity game,” he said.
In the cycling event, Edo won the gold medal ahead of Borno and Oyo states that came second and third respectively.
In the women category, Cross River won the gold, Oyo won the silver, while Kaduna clinched the bronze medal.
Following the win, host Edo has won a total of 17 medals, comprising six gold, six silver, and five bronze to top the cycling event that was rounded off yesterday.
Delta State came second with five gold, four silver and four bronze medals, while Bayelsa State finished in the third position with three gold, three silver, and two bronze medals.
Imo and Cross River states won one gold each.
In track and field events, Delta State’s Grace Nwokocha showed no sign of relenting as she romped to the 200m women title, adding it to the 100m gold she won at the weekend.
Nwokocha, who last month qualified for the 100m event of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, clocked 22.79 seconds (Personal Best) as she secured the 200m Olympics ticket.
Bayelsa’s Tima Godbless, who has been growing in confidence since her Bronze medal in the 100m, ran a new Personal Best (PB) of 23.65 seconds for second, with Delta’s Praise Ofoku also getting on the PB train to take third in 23.74 seconds.
Delta showed their dominance in the track and field, as defending champions of the women long jump, Ese Brume, retained the title she won in Abuja in 2018.
It was a balance of honours for Team Delta and Team Edo in the relays as they both won the gold in women and men’s races respectively.
Brume led others to the title in 44.37 seconds, while Team Lagos won the silver in 45.01 seconds, just as Bayelsa secured the bronze in 45.70 seconds.
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