Daily Trust (Abuja)

3 November 2012

Nigeria: Eko 2012 - Kogi Camps 140 Athletes

The Kogi State Government said on Friday that it was camping 140 athletes ahead of the 18th National Sports Festival, "Eko 2012," scheduled to hold in Lagos from Nov. 27 to Dec. 9.

The Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Mr Anthony Puke, disclosed this during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lokoja. He said that the state's athletes would participate in 12 events at the two-week fiesta, adding that only athletes with the potential to win medals would represent the state at the games.

The commissioner said that the state contingent would feature in boxing, badminton, judo, kickboxing, taekwondo, paralympics, wrestling, weightlifting, scrabble, handball, traditional sports and table tennis.

Puke assured that this year's outing would not be the usual jamboree for the state's athletes, stressing that government was committed to the project. He said that all necessary logistics were being put in place, to avoid any last-minute rush.

Puke commended the governor, Capt. Idris Wada, for his prompt release of funds for the camping and urged stakeholders in the sports sector to show a high level of commitment to encourage the athletes to do well at the Lagos Games.

recalls that 155 athletes and 38 technical officers camped for the Port-Harcourt Games, last year, but only 118 athletes made the final list to the Garden city, where they finished poorly.

The commissioner, however, expressed optimism that this year's performance would be a great departure from the past.

"The athletes going to the Lagos Games are all potential medalists. This is certainly going to be a major improvement on previous outings," he added.

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