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7,227 Athletes Set For Medal Battles As 19th National Sports Festival Begins Today

7,227 Athletes Set For Medal Battles As 19th National Sports Festival Begins Today

No fewer than 7,227 athletes will be vying for honours at the 19th edition of the National Sports Festival – Abuja 2018, which begins today in Abuja and ends on December 16, 2018, reports

These athletes from 35 states will feature in 37 sports.

The National Sports Festival was initially scheduled to be hosted by Cross River State but the hosting rights withdrawn as a result of several abandoned projects by contractors, unverified bills, budgeted and unbudgeted expenses on events, materials and publicity and other issues.

The last edition of the National Sports Festival was hosted by Lagos in 2012 which Delta State won.

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Delta State governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa has already announced big incentive in his quest to ensuring that the champions retain their title. The governor told Team Delta that they will earn the sum of N1million for every gold won at the 19th National Sports Festival.

The Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Solomon Dalung, said on Wednesday in Abuja after a meeting of the Federal Executive Council, that the participants for the 19th National Sports Festival were drawn from 35 states excluding Ebonyi State.

According to reports, Ebonyi State is not participating in the Games, which begin today after they were deeply involved in the 1st Ebonyi Governor’s Para-Military Games 2018.

A breakdown of the participants in the Games includes 7,227 athletes, 710 coaches, 322 other team officials, and 602 state delegates.

President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to be part of the opening ceremony of the 19th National Sports Festival at 5pm today (Thursday) at the National Stadium, Abuja.

By Johnny Edward:

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