• NATIONAL SPORTS FESTIVAL 2018

Femi Solaja

The duo of Margaret Boluwatife of Ondo State and Usheoritse Itsekiri of Rivers State yesterday emerged as the fastest male and female athletes of the 19th National Sports Festival in Abuja.

Boluwatife hit the finishing line in 11:45 secs to win the gold medal of the women’s 100m race, leaving Peace Ukor of Akwa Ibom State (11:52) and Joy Idoh Gabriel (11:53) of Delta State to settle for the silver and bronze medals respectively.

In the men’s event which was the last race of the day, Usheoritse bettered his semi final race to win in 10:27 secs while Ogho-Oghene Egwero of Delta State placed second in 10:32 secs. Enoch Adegoke of River State who ran same 10:32 as Egwero was awarded the bronze due to his slower reaction time. The finals in most of the field events are to be concluded today.

In football, Lagos State’s quest to win the men’s event varnished yesterday following the 1-3 loss to host Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The match was played at the Abuja National Stadium.

The team will now play Nasarawa who lost 2-3 to Bayelsa in the other semi final in the Third Placed match for the bronze medal at the same venue tomorrow.

In chess, the blitz event of the sport will enter the quarter-final stage tomorrow (Friday) in both male and female categories.

In the female section, the qualifiers include; Ofowino Toritse (Delta), Hafsat Bello (Delta), Perpetual Ogbaiyoyo (Bayelsa), Dzaayem Vivian (Edo), Enoch Emmanuelle (Oyo), Sampson Peace (Oyo), Aishat Jimoh (Lagos) and Azumi Suleiman (Kogi). The major casualty in the play-off event was veteran player, Rosemary Amadasun.

In the male section, International Master Odion Aikhoje of Bayelsa State was the major casualty after falling to reach the quarter-final phase of the competition.

The qualifiers are; Chukwunonso Oragwu (Delta), Dapo Adu (Lagos), Adebayo Adegboyega (Bayelsa), Eugene Unwana (Akwa Ibom), Femi Balogun (Oyo), Abel Soyoye (Ogun) and Daniel Anwuli (Oyo).

Play will resume in the Classic Chess this morning in the sixth round while there are 14 medals to be won in the sports.

Meanwhile, Lagos showed supremacy in squash as the State of Excellence hauled three medals in the event.

The final of the men’s singles was between two Lagos childhood friends, Wale Amao and Olanrewaju Yusuf Abdulrahman. However, after a grudge encounter, Abdulrahman won the game 2-1 to pick the gold medal of the event while Amao settled for the silver.

In the women’s singles played earlier, Lagos State’s Yemisi Olatunji defeated Rofiat Abdulazeez of Kwara 3-0 in the final.

Team Lagos also lost their basketball (male) match against Rivers State with 59-85 points, while Lagos qualifies for Friday’s final in the cricket (male) event after beating FCT by 68 runs.

Team Lagos male team walked-over Gombe in the volleyball (male) event to qualify for the semi final scheduled for Friday.

Lagos won 2 gold, 2 silver and 8 bronze medals in the taekwondo finals decided on Wednesday.