… Athletes set new records
… Lagos hits Quarter finals in Badminton team event

Team Bayelsa has sent a strong message of its intention to come tops at the ongoing Edo 2020 National Sports Festival. The team grabbed eight gold medals at the end of hostilities, yesterday. Team Bayelsa celebrated late into the night by winning three gold, one silver and two bronze medals in swimming event alone.

New swimming records have been set at the Sports Festival in Edo. Swimmers from Bayelsa, Delta and Edo set the new national records. A swimmer from Bayelsa State, Ifiesegba Gagbe, became the new record holder in the 100m freestyle women with her time of 1:01:54 minutes. She broke the record time of 1:02:66mins set by Okpilobo of Ondo State in the Lagos 2012 edition. Edo State’s Uwaje Ilayefa came second with a time of 1:01:96 minutes, surpassing the former record holder.

Delta State’s Timipamere Akiayefa also set a new record time in the 200m butterfly women. Seven of the 10 gold medals won by both oil-rich states came from the swimming competition. While team Bayelsa claimed three gold in the pool, Delta won four.

Bayelsa’s Gagbe won the women’s 100m freestyle with Edo picking the silver, while Delta State’s Akiayefa got the bronze.
Again, Akiayefa of Delta won her first gold medal of the day after the bronze she won earlier as she raced to the finishing line ahead of Kano and Bayelsa swimmers in the women’s 200m butterfly.

It was another gold medal for Delta State in the 50m Backstroke Women as Akiayefa won her third medal of the day, the second gold, as Edo and Bayelsa states finished second and third.

Team Bayelsa also won two gold medals and a bronze in Judo to cap a memorable opening day.
Ese Bassey and Selere Mathias got gold medal each, while Udeze Amarachi settled for had bronze.

After grabbing three gold medals on Sunday, Team Delta continued its impressive performance yesterday with Ukpcereye Ese winning gold in the cycling 1km female individual sprint event in a time of 1 minute, 26.70 seconds.

Nmoh Ifeakachkwu also claimed gold in the men’s 200m medley yesterday, beating the national champion, Yellow Yeigha of Bayelsa to the second position.

Another Delta athlete, Deborah Okpochine, settled for the silver medal in the 1,500 meter freestyle women event in swimming inside the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, yesterday.

Team Delta had seven gold medals on the table behind Bayelsa’s eight, while the host, Team Edo was third with five gold medals yesterday.

Meanwhile, some athletes have complained of mosquito and acrid smell, claiming that it is making living in the hostel unbearable for them.

Though an official of one of the South south states, who spoke after a visit to the female hostel in Hall Five at the Ugbowo campus of the University of Benin, commended the facilities yesterday saying: “I am really impressed with what Edo State has put in place for the athletes.”

In another development, Team Lagos had qualified for the quarterfinals of the Badminton team event. The duo of Anuoluapo Opeyeri and Godwin Olufia defeated Team Ekiti 2-0 in the first round game.

In the second round, Team Lagos defeated Team Ogun 2-0. The Team will play with the winners between Team Edo and Team FCT.

Speaking after the game, Opeyori said the ambition of Team Lagos in the badminton team event is to win gold medal.

“We have been training for the National Sports Festival before the postponements. Now, we are focused and we believe that victory is sure for us. We believe in the efficacy of prayer and since we have worked hard, we pray that God would crown our efforts,” he said.

Source: Guardian

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