Former Super Eagles captain and 1994 Africa Cup of Nations winner Austin Eguavoen and four other illustrious sportsmen and women from Edo State would be honoured during the Edo 2020 National Sports Festival, which holds from March 22 to April 1.
Edo State Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu, who made this known, gave the name of the other sportspeople as ex-boxer Isaac Ikhuoria, ex-hurdler Maria Usifo, Yusuf Ali and Paralympian Esther Oyema.
“We are proud that these great sportsmen and women, who made global impact in different sports, are from Edo. That is why we are using a big event like the National Sports Festival, to honour them,” Shaibu said.
Eguavoen, also a former Super Eagles coach, was a member of the squad that qualified for the country’s first ever World Cup in 1994, winning the AFCON same year.
Usifo, 55, ruled Africa in the women’s 100m and 400m hurdles in the 1980s, winning both events at the 1987 All Africa Games in Kenya. She also won the African Championships gold in 1984 (100m h), 1985 (100m h), 1988 (100m/400m h) and 1989 (400m h).
Ikhuoria, 72, is a retired light-heavyweight boxer who won a bronze medal at the 1972 Olympic Games. He also won a gold medal at the 1973 All-Africa Games.
Retired long jumper Ali, now 59, won a gold medal at the 1990 Commonwealth Games and was African champion in 1988 and 1989.
Paralympic gold medalist Oyema is regarded as one of the country’s most accomplished athletes of the present generation. She’s also won gold at the 2010 and 2014 Commonwealth Games.