With three days left to end the 19th National Sports Festival tagged Abuja 2018, Team Delta may have successfully defended its title, after extending the lead on the medals table to 85 gold medals yesterday. The sports festival will end on Sunday.
At the end of hostilities yesterday, Team Delta, who won the festival title at Bauch 2000, Abuja 2004, Gateway 2006, Kada 2009 and Eko 2012 had a total of 176 medals made up of 85 gold, 38 silver and 53 bronze.
On the opening day of the festival, Team Rivers jumped to the first position on the medals table after picking the first gold in the cycling event. Since then, it had been Team Delta all the way.
All athletes from the state have their eye on the gold medal so as to be part of the N1million largesse promised by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa.
Team Rivers, who won the festival on home soil in 2011, was in the second position on the table with 36 gold, 35 silver and 38 bronze medals.
Team Edo was in the third position yesterday with 20 gold, 24 silver and 27 bronze medals. Kano, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Oyo, Lagos and FCT followed in that order.
Meanwhile, teenage sensation, Imaobong Nse, has won the commendation of Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State after she beat all comers to win gold in the 400 metres athletics event yesterday.
The 14 year old champion of the national youth festival in Ilorin this year was entered by the state Athletics body just to give her "experience" only for her to beat all comers to gold in a time of 52.35 seconds.
Nse announced her intention to be in the medals range right from the heats when she kept spectators on their toes with her natural strides, coupled with a youthful exuberance that depicted her pleasure going into the finals.
Student of Fulga International School in Uyo, Nse was the cynosure of all eyes when she cruised to three gold medals in Ilorin youth Olympics and the feat was repeated yesterday in Abuja.
Governor Udom Emmanuel was told of the feat by the Hon. commissioner of Youth and Sports Sir Monday Uko, Governor Udom broke the news to all present and was all praise for the teenager from Ikot Abasi One in Etinan Local Government Area.