Lagos – Team Delta was on Sunday officially declared winner of the 18th National Sports Festival, tagged Eko 2012, which came to an end at the Teslim Balogun Stadium. At the closing ceremony graced by some of Nigeria’s top artistes, Delta State was declared winner of the N20 million first prize meant for the overall champion of the 13-day sports fiesta. To win the N20 million cash reward, Delta garnered 116 gold, 99 silver and 75 bronze medals, while defending champion, Rivers, which finished second, amassed 76 gold, 71 silver and 71 bronze medals.
Gov. Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State
Host, Lagos, had to wait till Saturday to increase its gold medals from 38 to 64 on the final day of the championship. Aside the 64 gold, Lagos had 47 silver and 71 bronze medals. Edo finished fourth with 25 gold, 23 silver and 44 bronze medals, while Bayelsa occupied the fifth position with 19 gold, 17 silver and 22 bronze medals. Also among the top 10 is Ondo, which ended sixth with 18 gold, 12 silver and 28 bronze medals, Ogun (seventh) with 15 gold, 22 silver and 31 bronze medals.
Host of the next festival, Cross River placed eight with 12 gold, 14 silver and 23 bronze medals, while Oyo got 12 gold, 13 silver and 17 bronze medals. The tenth placed team is Akwa Ibom, which won seven gold, 18 silver and 19 bronze medals. 29 states got at least one gold, while eight remaining states ended without any gold medal. One significant improvement from previous festivals is that all the participating states won medals with the least state being Katsina, which had three bronze medals to finish 37th on the medal table.
Eko 2012 has continued to receive accolades from participants, who believed Lagos has raised the bar of the games, adding that Cross Rivers needs to work hard to beat Lagos in 2014. Meanwhile, Delta State has revealed what it did to win the just concluded National Sports Festival. “It took months of camping, hard training, discipline and divine intervention to achieve the victory,” Chairman of Delta State Sports Commission, Amaju Pinnick, said shortly before the closing ceremony of the games.
Eko 2012 organizing committee led by Gov. Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State
The post victory celebration began at The Redeemed Evangelical Mission (TREM) headquarters, Anthony Village, Lagos, where members of the victorious team and officials went for a thanksgiving service. In attendance were the Governor of Delta State, Emmanuel Uduaghan, and his wife, Rolly, the Speaker of the state’s House of Assembly, Victor Ochei and other top government functionaries.
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