Festival’s earlier postponements affected us – Kwara team

Athletes parade at National Sports Festival
Athletes parade at National Sports Festival
Athletes parade at National Sports Festival
Athletes parade at National Sports Festival

Isiaka Magaji, Head Coach of Kwara’s squash team which have won four medals at the ongoing 20th National Sports Festival (NSF) in Benin, says they could have done better.

Magaji, whose team are targeting the gold medal in the competition’s team event final on Saturday, said the festival’s several postponements did some damage to their performance.

While speaking ahead of Saturday’s event final, which is the last event in squash competition at “Edo 2020”, the coach said his team had been in top form for some time.

“Out of the six events in squash here at Edo 2020, we could not win any medal only in one event and this is the mixed doubles.

“But in the other events, the worst we have done is to win the bronze medal.

“So, so far, we have four medals in squash now. We have one gold, one silver and two bronze medals

“But the team could have performed even better if not for the several postponements the festival witnessed,” he told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Benin.

“If the festival had been held as scheduled, our performance would have been better than this one because our players were in top form,” Magaji added.

The coach however expressed satisfaction with the team’s performance for winning a medal in all but one of the six events in the competition at the festival.

“We thank God for everything, because the guys are doing wonderfully well.

“We must give glory to God because Kwara won the last two squash tournaments in Lagos before this festival,” he said.

Magaji said his team would still get better, after the completion of ongoing construction of eight different eight squash courts in the state.

He however urged the Kwara government to always consider the welfare of their athletes to avert incessant poaching by other states.

“Even the token that is given to them should come on time. If we have been doing that, Kwara will not have problems with poaching,” the coach said.

NAN reports that Team Kwara will meet Delta in the team event, looking to seek a revenge of the loss they suffered in the final of the women’s doubles played on Thursday.

“Our players have assured me of victory and I have confidence in the team’s ability,” Magaji said.

NAN

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