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Medals are of ‘Olympics standard,’ says Solomon Dalung


[FILE PHOTO] Minister of Youth and Sports Development , Solomon Dalung

Sport Minister, Solomon Dalung has declared that the quality of medals prepared to be given to victorious athletes in the 19th National Sports Festival, which starts tomorrow, are of ‘Olympics standard.’

Though he was silent on where the medals were produced, Dalung insisted while responding to questions yesterday that, the medals produced for the festival are of good quality.

The Festival Torch that has toured round the 36 states of the federation, and it being expected to arrive Abuja tomorrow to signify the commencement of the games.

There is fear in some quarters that the National Sports Festival, dubbed Abuja 2018, that is expected to attract a total of 14,850 athletes, coaches and team officials, might not rekindle the type of spectacles associated with it.

At the time of this report yesterday, there was no sign that the tartan tracks at the main bowl of the Abuja National Stadium would host the track events apart from the opening and closing ceremonies.

But Dalung argued yesterday that the 10 months of preparation was not enough saying: “The hosting rights for the 19th edition was originally awarded to Cross River State in December 2012 during the closing ceremony of the 18th edition and was tagged ‘Centenary Games’ to coincide with the Centenary celebrations of the amalgamation of the Northern and Southern Protectorates of Nigeria in 1914.

However, after series of postponement, the hosting g right was withdrawn from Cross River State by the National Council on Sports at its 21st meeting held on February 15, 2018 in Kaduna.

“The Federal Government, realising the damage that the unending postponements of the festival portends for sports development in Nigeria, accepted the resolution of the National Council on Sports to take over the organisation and hosting of the Games in 2018 with Abuja as the host City,” Dalung stated.

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