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2024 NSF: Ogun Set To Host, Oyo On Standby

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Ogun State has been awarded the hosting right for the next  edition of National Sports Festival in 2024.
Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, who represented President Muhammadu Buhari at the closing ceremony of Delta 2022, revealed on Saturday that Oyo State finished second among the contestants for hosting the 22nd National Sports Festival in 2024.
He noted that the decision to unveil the runners up was to avoid anything that could hamper 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.
Fans at the stadium were thrilled by Delta-born rapper, Erigga, Zoro and Zlatan.
The Guardian recalls that Team Delta won the 2006 edition of the National Sports festival when Ogun last hosted it.
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 with Tidesports source 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 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 will win, but I didn’t envisage this wide gap on the medals table. I doubt if anybody can break this my record,” he said.
Okowa, who is also president of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), was full of praises for Governor Ifeanyi Okowa for the moral and financial support he gave to Team Delta before and during the National Sports festival.

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Okowa Lauds Athletes Ahead Olympics Trials

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President, Athletics Federation of Nigeria, Tonobok Okowa, has once again mandated all athletes looking to represent the country at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games to attend the Nigerian Trials, which hold from June 16 to 18 inside the main bowl of Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin-City.
Making his stance clear in Monday’s release by the athletics body, Okowa commended the athletes for their determination to qualify for the Olympics.
He said, “The athletes have shown commitment, determination, and desire to succeed in their careers by picking Olympic qualifications. They deserve our collective appreciation.”
He added, “The athletes would be picked in accordance with their performances at the trials because it would largely determine who goes to Paris for the Olympics.”
Meanwhile, the Chairman, Edo State Sports Commission, Yusuf Alli, says the state is waiting to welcome athletes for the trials.
He said, “We are the hosts of the national trials, and athletes and spectators are welcome.”
The trials are expected to throw up the best of Nigeria’s athletes based at home and abroad for the Olympic Games in Paris in July.

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Emerging Star Eyes Olympics Place For Nigeria

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Nigerian track and field star, Favour Ofili, has set her sights on the upcoming national Olympics trials after she pulled off a stunning victory in the women’s 100m at the New York Grand Prix, defeating a stellar field that included Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah of Jamaica last Sunday.
The 21-year-old clocked a season-best 11.18secs to take the win, America’s Morolake Akinosun was second in 11.20secs while her compatriot Aleia Hobbs ended in third place in 11.21secs.Thompson-Herah, the Tokyo Olympics 100m and 200m gold medalist, could only manage ninth place in 11.48secs as she continues to search for her best form this season.
“Just like practice, stay calm and just go, finish your transition because that’s the issue, and whatever happens will happen. I wanted to get the standard here and I give God glory for the win,” Ofili told Tidesports source after the race.
“For the trials, stay calm and just do what I know how to do, go back and do some training before I go back home for the national trials.”
The Olympic trials are scheduled to hold in Benin City, Edo State from June 16 to 18. The trials will serve as the selection of the nation’s athletes for both the Senior Africa Athletics Championships, holding between June 21 and 28 in Douala, Cameroon and the Paris 2024 Olympics, which hold from July 26 to August 11.

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Olympic Day Celebrations Hold June 29

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The Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC), at the weekend, said the annual Olympic Day celebrations would be held on June 29 across the country.
The Olympic Day is a global event that commemorates the birth of the modern Olympic Movement, founded by Pierre de Coubertin in 1894.
Speaking with news men, the Secretary-General of the NOC, Babatunde Popoola, said this year’s celebration holds special significance as it precedes the highly anticipated Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
It’s where Nigerian athletes will compete and inspire the world with their achievements.
“Olympic Day is a chance for people of all ages and abilities to experience the magic of the Olympic Games in their own communities.
“It is an ideal platform to highlight the benefits of physical activity and the Olympic values of excellence, friendship, and respect,” Popoola said.
Popoola said that NOC had received positive responses from various states and stakeholders, and preparations were well underway for the nationwide celebration.
He added that no fewer than 21 states and the Federal Capital Territory have indicated their plans to organise activities for the event.
The states are: Abia; Anambra; Bayelsa; Delta; Edo; Enugu; Ebonyi; Lagos; Kogi; Gombe; Jigawa; Kebbi; Kano; Kwara; Taraba; Imo; Ondo; Plateau; Rivers; Nasarawa and Osun
Also speaking, the Chairman of the NOC Sport For All Commission, Abdul Ibrahim, said that Olympic Day was a special day to come together, move together, and learn about the Olympic values.
“We encourage everyone to participate and experience the joy that only sport can bring,” he said.
According to him, a series of activities have been lined up in Lagos, with fitness clubs at the National Stadium Complex and the general public gearing up to take part in the global event.
“The celebration will conclude with the presentation of diplomas signed by the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach.
The President of the Nigeria Olympic Committee, Engr. Habu Ahmed Gumel and other dignitaries will officially flag off the event in Abuja,” he added.

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