Ondo female basketball team through to q/finals
The Team Ondo female basketball team on Saturday secured a place in the quarter-finals stage of the event at the ongoing 18th National Sports Festival in Lagos.
The team qualified by beating their Niger State counterparts 56-52.
Sola Aluko, Head Coach, Team Ondo, attributed its qualification to determination, saying that he was happy to have qualified for the quarter-finals stage.
“My girls were determined to go beyond the group stage and this they have achieved,“ he said.
Earlier, Grace Onyagu, a player with the team, expressed joy that her team recovered from back to back defeats to win two matches in a row and qualify for the quarter-finals.
Seidu Adamu, Head Coach, Team Niger, said his girls lost the match due to fatigue, adding that there was still hope for the team to qualify from their group.
Rivers vow to re-enact success
Rivers, the Abula game defending champions at the ongoing 18th National Sports Festival in Lagos on Saturday boasted of retaining the three gold medals at stake at the festival.
Paul Asaah, Head Coach of the team, disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) moments after his team defeated Team Oyo 2-0 in the game’s mixed doubles event.
Abula is one of the five traditional sports featuring at the festival. Others were Dambe, Langa, Ayo and Kokawa (traditional wrestling).
The coach said that Rivers, hosts of the 17th edition of the 2011 festival in Port Harcourt were determined to retain its titles to prove its superiority in the game, whether home or away.
“Since the commencement of the event, I have beaten all my opponents 2-0 each in the male, female and mixed double categories of the game. The victories are due to the proper training of our athletes.”, he said.
Fred Lawrence, Rivers’ team Captain, said that constant training was the major factor that helped the team to record the feats.
Rivers had defeated Benue, Bayelsa, Imo and Lagos, 2-0 each in the male events.
In the female category, Rivers had also defeated Imo and Lagos 2-0 each and Ondo State 2-1.
Rivers is currently leading the table, followed by Ondo State and Bayelsa, in the male category.
Delta governor cheers up athletes
Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta said on Saturday in Lagos that hard work and good planning were key to Team Delta’s successes so far at the ongoing 18th National Sports Festival (NSF).
Delta is currently leading the medals table with 10 gold, 3 silver and 6 bronze medals.
Uduaghan told sportswriters in Lagos shortly after visiting the Main Press Centre at the Teslim Balogun Stadium that early preparations and getting the right athletes were instrumental to the state’s good records in sports.
“It’s planning, hard work and actually getting those who actually know sports to be part of it,’’ he said.
The governor said the state commenced preparations for the festival shortly after the 17th edition held in Port Harcourt in 2011.
He said the state also relied on the technical expertise of renowned sportsmen and women in the grooming of the athletes.
“We also try to get some technical persons in sports to assist us. Over the years, we have built some technical persons in sports and they are working for us.
“In some states, they allow their technical persons to go away with their knowledge.
“The message I am sending to Nigerians is that we have a lot of technical persons in this country who can build up our young ones to win gold medals at the Olympic level.
Mixed vibes from traders
Five days into the 18th National Sports Festival (NSF), traders selling various articles at the National Stadium, Lagos on Saturday expressed mixed feelings about the patronage they were enjoying from the ongoing fiesta.
Some of them told the News agency of Nigeria (NAN) that sales were low, contrary to their expectation that many athletes, officials and spectators would be at the Games venue.
But others said they were getting value for the N15,000 they paid to rent their stands.
The National Stadium is the venue for table tennis, weightlifting, taekwondo and boxing at the Games, tagged “Eko 2012’’.
John Imeh, a snacks seller, said he came to the festival with high hopes of making good sales which made him to invest in the business and decorate his stand, to attract customers.
“I practically moved my shop to the National Stadium, expecting to make huge sales, but I am disappointed with what I am seeing.
“The sales are not there, compared to what I rented the stand with. I just hope things will improve,’’ Imeh said.
Joshua Benson, who deals in clothes and souvenirs, said people came to his stand and prize clothes, promising to come back to buy, but at the end of the day they would not show up.
“Most people come to my stand and I will be happy expecting to sell but they will end up not buying and they even prize the clothes below the cost price,’’ he said.
Benson disclosed that he paid N15, 000 for the stand, just to be able to put his umbrella and display his items for sale, adding that he made an average sale of N5, 000 per day.
But Motunrayo Ayoade, another snacks and drinks seller, on the contrary, said she was getting value for the N15, 000 her father paid for the space.
Ayoade said she made not less than N17, 000 daily and that she does not sell on credit, since she was not familiar with the customers.
“For me, sales have been very encouraging. The money my father paid here is not a waste; in fact, I don’t want the festival to end,’’ she said.
Collins Nnadozie, a mobile telephone recharge card seller, said he did not pay for any stand because of the nature of his business and disclosed that he was making good sales.
“Everybody needs and must buy recharge cards, so it gives me an edge over those who paid for their stands. I just walk into the stadium with my market and sell without any problem whatsoever,’’ he said.