Chief of Naval Staff, Vice-Admiral O.S Ibrahim
By Jude Okwe
The 4th Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) Swimming Championship ended in Calabar Sunday in Calabar with Eric Williams of Rivers State providing an exciting climax as he broke a six-year national record in the men’s 50m breaststroke just as seven championship records were set during the week-long event.
Until the final day of competition, Williams’ previous national record was 29:80 set in 2007 while the competition record was 29:89 set last year. But he further lowered it to a new time of 29: 74 seconds to win the gold of Calabar 2012.
Seven other competition records were also broken at this edition which drew swimmers from 15 teams from states, armed forces and the University of Ibadan. They competed for laurels in 32 events.
Faith Edorodion of Team Edo set a new competition record of 1:12:51 in the women’s 100m butterfly and in 50m butterfly women when she returned with a time of 31: 41.
She set the old competition mark of 1:15:07 (100m butterfly) and national record of 1:07:71 in the same event in 2011.
Edorodion also holds the competition record of 31:86 seconds in the 50m butterfly and the national record of 29:97 set respectively in the events at the third edition of the championship in Ilorin, Kwara, in 2011.
Rachael Tonjor of Edo, who holds the national and competition records of 33:81 and 35:17 in 50m breaststroke women, in 2011 set a new competition record of 35:13 in Calabar.
Opuakpo of Delta won the best overall male price by emerging first in eight individual races and second in one individual race in the competition.
Gagbe of Bayelsa won in the female category when she picked first positions in eight individual women races.
Team Delta won the best overall state price when it emerged first in nine races, second in equal number of races and third in 13 races.
The Nigeria police team emerged the best team having won first positions in five events, second positions in three team events and third slots in five events at the championship.
Speaking while declaring the competition closed the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice-Admiral O.S Ibrahim, advised the Nigerian Swimming Federation to continue in the sensitisation campaign to generate interests and improve the aquatic sports in Nigeria.
Represented at the occasion by Navy Secretary, Naval Headquarters, Abuja, Rear-Admiral Ibokette Ibas, the CNS said that the competition was organised as part of the Nigerian Navy’s contribution to the development of swimming in Nigeria.