The chase for medals at the 19th National Sports Festival got into full swing on Friday with Bayelsa and Rivers State picking the first set of gold medals in Abuja.
The honours were shared between the two states in the cycling event.
While Rivers claimed the gold medal in the women’s category, Bayelsa won the gold medal in the male category.
Gladys Tombrapa of Rivers got the gold medal in the women’s 200 metres.
Adejoke Durogbade of Oyo State picked the silver medal, while Juliet Akaegbu of Lagos State won the bronze medal.
In the male category, Kelly Edi Caleb of Bayelsa won the gold medal and Azeez Mutiu of Delta the silver medal, while Isa Momoh of Kaduna State took the bronze medal.
The cycling competition continues on Saturday with 54 female participants going over an 84km route which starts from the Federal Secretariat and goes through Jabi.
More gold medals were also won in the Powerlifting event on Friday as Yakubu Adesokan representing Oyo State finished tops in the men’s 49kg. Emmanuel Ugidu of Plateau State settled for the silver medal while Mimo Olabode of Oyo State got a consolation with a bronze medal.
For the women, Rukayat Ajiboye won gold for Team Rivers as she lifted 107kg.
Abokin Loveth on her part won silver for Edo State; lifting 100kg while Onyebueke Chinomso won bronze for Abia lifting 90kg.
A different Rukayat Ajiboye of Lagos on Friday also won gold in the 45kg category of the women’s Para-powerlifting competition
Lucy Ihuoma of Imo, competing in the women’s 41kg category, also lifted 107kg to also win the gold medal in the event.
There was also action in the table tennis event with superstars Funke Oshonaike and Segun Toriola blazing the trail.
There was no upset for Toriola in the Round of 32 of the men singles table tennis event as he came from a set down to beat Idris Zakari 4-1 to advance to the round of 16
Oshonaike was more emphatic in her own win as she blew Onyinye Nwachukwu of Imo State 4-0.
The duo of Oshoniake and Toriola told PREMIUM TIMES they are in for business and would stop at nothing to win the gold for their adopted Akwa Ibom State.
“I am not here for holiday, I am here to motivate the upcoming players and also win gold for Akwa Ibom,” Toriola said.
On why he chose to play for Akwa Ibom, Toriola a five-time Olympian, told PREMIUM TIMES he was happy with the discussion he had with the state and more importantly he wants to pass a message of One Nigeria with his move.
The National Sports Festival which started on Thursday with an opening ceremony will last till December 16.
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