NATIONAL SPORTS FESTIVAL

By Joshua Onyebara in Abuja

Veteran player, Segun Toriola, yesterday won the gold medal for Akwa Ibom State in the men’s single table tennis event at the 19th National Sports Festival in Abuja.

Toriola, a seven-time Olympian, defeated Ganiyu Asmiyu from Bayelsa State 4-1 to emerge the winner.

A sizeable crowd watched the thrilling final held at the basketball indoor hall at the Package B of the National Stadium, Abuja.

After Asmiyu took the first set at 11-9, Toriola recovered and claimed the subsequent three sets11- 7 , 11-9, 11-7 and 11-9.

It was a lively contest that climaxed with both players and their supporters overwhelmed by excessive emotions.

” It was tough but my experience mattered, particularly after the first set. Nigeria is blessed with talented players,” Toriola noted.

Leon Osaiowie of Edo State yesterday won a Gold Medal and broke a national record in 800m Freestyle Swimming event at the ongoing 19th National Sports Festival in Abuja.

According to sources in Team Edo camp in Abuja, it was the father of the swimmer who broached his kid’s coming to participate at the Games.

Chairman of Edo Sports Commission, Godwin Dudu Orumen confirmed it. He stressed of the foreign-born swimmer: His father spoke with me a few weeks after l assumed office as Chairman of the Edo Sports Commission  and l gave him my consent.”

Unlike several other parents who will attach condition before their wards will compete for Nigeria, the senior Osaiowie only asked to be accommodated during the festival.

“He asked only asked for hotel room accommodation and local transport Today, the Deputy Governor, Rt Hon Phillips Shaibu has directed the Edo Festival Team to make refunds to him and asked that the Commission keeps tab on the swimmer as well as support his training /participation in competitions that will help him improve his talent,” confirmed the ESSC boss.