Delta State has officially emerged the winner of the 19th National Sports Festival.
Team Delta amassed an astonishing 163 gold medals, 88 silver and 101 bronze medals to beat the other participating teams to the number one position after 10 days of action in Abuja.
While this is the fifth time Delta will be coming first at the National Sports Festival, this is their best showing going by the number of medals they won in total. Interestingly, Delta State first won the festival when Abuja hosted the biennial games in 2004.
At this year’s festival, Rivers State finished a distant second with 69 gold, 58 silver and 57 bronze medals.
Edo State finished third with 47 gold, 41 silver and 53 bronze medals.
After a very excruciating 10 days of competitions in the 19th National Sports Festival, Abuja 2018, Team Lagos led by the Chairman Lagos Sports Commission, Kweku Tandoh, finished in fourth position.
Team Lagos got a total 146 medals with a breakdown showing 36 gold, 37 silver and 73 bronze medals.
Tandoh, who was in Abuja throughout the competition, said he was largely satisfied with the performance of the Lagos athletes and officials. He said the state stuck to its principle of using homegrown athletes who developed under the tutelage of the state’s grassroots development programme over the years.
“It feels good to know that Team Lagos presented the youngest athlete at Abuja 2018, and also created the biggest upset in the entire festival achieved in the women’s table tennis event.
“We take consolation in the fact that the states that emerged on the overall medals’ ahead of Team Lagos were aided by foreign-based professionals who exploited the opportunities of the sports ministry declaring the festival open to all classes of participants.
“We stuck to our guns following strictly the original tenets of the National Sports Festival which is basically to discover and develop hidden talents for the country. We are satisfied that Team Lagos has done that for Nigeria at Abuja 2018.
While every state present in Abuja won at least a medal, seven did not win any gold medal.
They are Borno, Gombe, Ekiti, Zamfara, Adamawa, Taraba and Sokoto states.
Ebonyi and Katsina states were absent at the 19th National Sports Festival.
Delta was also selected to host the next edition of the multi-sports event in 2020.