Taiye Ayenuro shines as Delta retain National Youth Games title with 60 gold medals
Kano to host next edition, minister condemns age-cheat
Taiye Ayenuro was the star of the Sixth National Youth Games, which ended yesterday in Ilorin, Kwara State. Ayenuro’s exploits in the girls’ 100m, 200m, 4x100m relay was part of the reasons Delta State successfully defended its title with 60 gold, 26 silver and 28 bronze medals. Team Delta won the trophy for keeps for the second time, having ruled the Games since inception in 2013.
Team Lagos was second on the medals table with 19 gold, 25 silver and 28 bronze, while Team Edo finished third with 18 gold, 10 silver and 12 bronze medals.
At yesterday’s closing ceremony attended by Sports Minister, Sunday Dare, Team Delta cleared all the available medals in track and field.
It won the gold in the boys’ 200m in 22.05 seconds, just as the star athlete of the Games, Ayenuro won the gold medal in the girls’ 200m event in 24.60 seconds. About 20 minutes later, Ayenuro led Team Delta to victory in the 4×100 mixed relay to take her medals to three this year.
Team Delta also captured the gold medal in the 4×400 mixed relay to cap a glorious outing in Ilorin 2021. Francess Ajagbowa of Delta had claimed gold in girls’ high jump with a jump of 1.58 metres, beating Lekwot Peace of Kaduna 1.55 metres and Adeyanju Christina of Oyo 1.53 metres to second and third positions respectively.
Speaking at the closing ceremony, Sports Minister, Sunday Dare, said this year’s edition of the Games has shown everyone that there are abundant talents in the country.
He said: “Testimonies abound of many talents who were discovered in previous editions of the National Youth Games who have become world class acts and multiple Olympians for Nigeria.”
“I need to condemn and express my disappointment about the ugly problem of age cheating that reared its head at these games. We will ensure that we adopt more scientific and digital means of identifying age cheats next time and mete out stiff penalties to the offending athletes and states.
“We will consider the NIMC registration as a requirement going forward. There will be a need for all athletes to have NIMC registration before they can participate henceforth,” Dare stated.
The sports minister highlighted nine-year-old Gift Torhile from the FCT and 10-year-old Wilson Briggt of Team Delta as the youngest athletes of the games.