Storm Stops Osinbajo from Landing in Benin, Edo 2020 Officially Begins

0

NATIONAL SPORTS FESTIVAL

*Okowa excites Team Delta with presence during march past* State leads in Swimming

Duro Ikhazuagbe

The 20th edition of the National Sports Festival was officially declared open yesterday by Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo who was scheduled to perform the ceremony in addition to inaugurating the refurbished Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium complex was unavoidably absence as his plane could not land in the city’s airport due to the storms that accompanied the torrential rain that nearly marred activities yesterday evening.

Speaking while performing the opening ceremony of Edo 2020, Gov Obaseki recalled the events that led to the creation of the National Sports Festival were aimed primarily at unifying the country after the bitter experience of the civil war.

He praised the founding fathers like former Head of State General Yakubu Gowon, former Governor of Midwest Region and later Bendel State, then Brigadier-General Samuel Ogbemudia, former IOC member, Major General Henry Adefope for conceiving the idea of the festival.

Obaseki urged the athletes to compete fairly in the spirit of sportsmanship.

Sports Minister, Chief Sunday Dare, praised the state for providing world-class facilities for the festival that suffered several postponements due to the Covid-19 pandemic since March last year.

One of the highlights of the evening was the participation of the Governor of the defending champion state, Delta, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa in the match past.

Meanwhile, after three days of hostilities, Team Delta currently leads the medal table in the swimming events of the 20th National Sports Festival in Benin City with seven gold medals.

Despite having same 13 medals with Bayelsa State, Delta is leading with seven gold, three silver and three bronze medals while Bayelsa has five gold, four silver and four bronze medals.

Host Edo State is currently third on the swimming medals table after winning two gold, four silver and four bronze medals. Kano State have three silver medals to show so far.

Other states who have also registered their presence on the swimming medals table include; Cross River and Gombe states with two and one bronze medals respectively.

Also yesterday, a pregnant female athletes from Lagos State, Aminat Idrees, won a gold medal for the state in Taekwondo.

Team Lagos yesterday claimed its first gold in the mixed poomsae of taekwondo as Aminat Idrees became the cynosure of all eyes after showing her class in the event.

Apart from being part of the team that claimed gold, Idrees won individual medals with one silver and one bronze medals in individual women and poomsae events for Lagos to claim one gold, one silver and two silver medals.