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Ogun state emerges as host for NSF 2024,Oyo runner up



Former host of the 2006 edition of the National Sports Festival, Ogun State, has been awarded the hosting rights for the next edition slated for 2024.

The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, who was representing the President Muhammadu Buhari at the closing ceremony of Delta 2022 NSF, revealed on Saturday,December 10th, that Oyo State finished second among the contestants for hosting the 22nd National Sports Festival in 2024.

He said that the decision to unveil the runners up early was to avoid anything that could delay the event, stressing that if the host state was not prepared before time, the hosting right would be passed to the runners up.

The closing ceremony at the Stephen Keshi Stadium on Saturday featured the presentation of winners’ trophy to Team Delta, Bayelsa and Edo State and the passing of the hosting right to Ogun State. Team Delta won the 2006 edition of the National Sports festival when Ogun last hosted it.

Fans at the stadium were thrilled by Delta-born rappers, Erigga, Zoro and Zlatan.

Meanwhile, with a massive medal haul of 648, made up of 320 gold, 200 silver and 128 bronze, Chairman of Delta Sports Commission, Tonobok Okowa, has every reason to celebrate.

Team Delta retained their National Sports Festival title on Saturday, creating the biggest record in the Games’ history. The win is Team Delta’s eighth in 10 appearances, having triumphed at Bauchi 2000, Abuja 2004, Gateway 2006, KADA 2009, Eko 2012, Abuja 2018 and Edo 2020.

Speaking shortly after the closing ceremony at Stephen Keshi Stadium, Okowa said: “First, I thank God for the smooth organisation of this National Sports festival.

“A few weeks ago, many Nigerians were doubtful that Delta State won’t deliver the facilities to host the Games. We did not just deliver, but hosted the best ever Games in the history of Nigeria sports.

“In Delta, we do our calculation of medals before the commencement of any major sporting event. We look at the area of our strength and weakness. After three days of competition, I knew we would win, but I didn’t envisage this wide gap on the medals table. I doubt if anybody can break my record,” he said.

Okowa, who is also president of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), was full of praise for Governor Ifeanyi Okowa for the moral and financial support he gave to Team Delta before and during the National Sports festival.

He appreciated the athletes, coaches and members of the Local Organising Committee  (LOC) for their determination and commitment throughout the duration of the  Games.

By winning the National Sports festival title for the third time, Governor Okowa has equaled the record of former Governor James Ibori, whose administration won the Games at Bauchi 2000, Abuja 2004 and Gateway 2006. Ibori’s administration narrowly missed the fourth NSF title in 2002, when it finished second behind the host then, Edo State.

Ten States failed to grab a gold medal in all the events they competed in, while Zamfara was the only state that returned home without a single medal at the 21st National Sports Festival.

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