Team Edo eyes top spot as action begins
Determined to wrestle the top position from host, Delta State, Team Edo has presented a 356-man contingent (made up of athletes, coaches, and officials) at the 7th National Youth Games.
The opening ceremony begins today at the Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba.
Since the commencement of the National Youth Games in 2013, Team Delta has always finished first. The state has vowed to retain its position on home soil, but its closest rival, Team Edo, says it will fight hard for it.
The Edo State contingent arrived in Asaba on Thursday evening with the chairman of the Edo State Sports Commission, Yusuf Alli, promising to torpedo the host state.
Yusuf, an Olympian whose national record, which he set in 1989 in the long jump still stands to date, said he was impressed with the recruitment process of the athletes.
He urged the athletes to represent the state well and abide by the rules of the games.
“As you depart to represent Edo State in Asaba, we are already proud of you. To us as the sports commission and government, you are very important. You are our diamond. We are preparing you for the future. Some of you will represent Nigeria. You might be competing with athletes older than you at the games but remain focused and represent Edo well. I’m confident you will win.”
Alli explained that among the 356 contingent are 271 athletes and coaches, while others include secretaries and commission officials.
Get the latest news delivered straight to your inbox every day of the week. Stay informed with the Guardian’s leading coverage of Nigerian and world news, business, technology and sports.