Okowa set to shower cash on victorious Team Delta
• Female swimmer Okpochini eyes N9 million
Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa has directed the state sports commission to prepare the athletes, coaches and backroom staff who won the 19th National Sports Festival in Abuja for a ‘glorious’ reception.
Team Delta amassed an astonishing 163 gold medals, 88 silver and 101 bronze medals to beat other participating teams to the number one position after 10 days of competition in Abuja. The victory was the fifth time Delta will finish top at the National Sports Festival, having won at Bauchi 2000, Abuja 2004, Gateway 2006, Kada 2009 and Eko 2012. The state had also finished second at Edo 2002 and Garden City 2011.
But the performance at Abuja 2018 seems to be the best for Team Delta going by the number of medals they won in total.Team Rivers, who won the festival on home soul in 2011, beating Delta State in a controversial circumstance, finished a distant second with 69 gold, 58 silver and 57 bronze medals at the Abuja 2018.
Another former champions, Team Edo, who capitalized on the power of hosting the 2002 edition to beat Delta at the top of the medals table, could only manage a third position finishing in Abuja 2018 with 47 gold, 41 silver and 53 bronze medals.
Speaking with The Guardian yesterday, the chairman of Delta Sports Commission, Tonobok Okowa said he had received the governor’s order to prepare the contingent for the reception. “I don’t have the date yet, but it will happen very soon. I just got the order from the governor to prepare the athletes and their officials for the reception ceremony,” Okowa stated.
One of the state’s athletes, 22 years old female swimmer, Deborah Okpochini, who won nine gold medals at the sports festival, is looking forward to smile to the bank with N9 million, going by Governor Okowa’s promise of rewarding every gold medalist with N1 million.