After 12 days of intense competition in 39 events, Delta State again emerged champions of the 20th National Sports Festival tagged Edo 2020 in Benin City, to extend their dominance at the event.
The sporting fiesta ended with a colourful closing ceremony that had live musical performances spiced with the relay finals at the spectators at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City.
However, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who was scheduled to declare the event closed, and sports minister, Sunday Dare, were notable absentees at the grand ceremony, which displayed the rich cultural heritage of the Edo people.
Both were reportedly unable to book flights to Benin City due to bad weather in Abuja, after a downpour in the capital city.
Osinbajo also couldn’t grace the opening ceremony of the festival due to the same reason two weeks ago.
A member of the festival’s Main Organising Committee, who spoke with our correspondent on condition of anonymity, said Osinbajo was billed to travel together with Dare but called off the trip due to heavy rains in Abuja.
Dare was however represented by the Permanent Secretary, FMYSD, Nebeolisa Anako, who declared the festival closed.
Artistes Joeboy, Nastee and Teni thrilled the few fans at the ceremony.
It’s the third consecutive time Delta, who first won the festival in 2004, would win the competition.
Team Delta claimed 158 gold, 116 silver and 110 bronze medals to beat the other teams to the number one position.
Hosts Edo State trailed in second position with 129 gold, 104 silver and 108 bronze, with Bayelsa state emerging third best with 56 gold, 55 silver and 58 bronze medals.
Team Rivers got a total of 128 medals: 33 gold, 34 silver and 61bronze to place fourth.