The Ministry of Youth and Sports Development has provided an overview of the just concluded National Sports Festival hosted by Abuja.
Speaking during a media engagement that was convened on Wednesday, The Permanent Secretary, Olusade Adesola who was the Chairman of the Main Organising Committee of the Festival said the Festival tagged ‘Abuja 2018 featured 517 events in 39 sports in which 59 new national records were witnessed as well as 84 athletes being tested by the anti-doping unit of the ministry.
He revealed that the 19th National Sports Festival witnessed the setting of 59 new national records.
According to him, forty-two records were set in weightlifting; fifteen swimmers also set new records and two were made in para-powerlifting.
“In accordance with the commitment of the Ministry to ensuring a dope-free festival and in line with international best practices in sporting events, a random selection of athletes, particularly those who posted record breaking performances were tested.
“Accordingly, a total of 84 athletes were tested by the Anti-Doping Unit of the Ministry. The samples collected would be transmitted to our partner accredited World Anti-Doping Agencies Laboratory in Doha, Qatar for necessary analysis,” he said.
Adesola further urged state governments to toe the same line as Delta and Kano states who appreciated their athletes who were victorious in their events.
“Because of the offer made by Delta state, the athletes were almost breaking their neck to become millionaires. And at the end of the day, 163 millionaires were made.
“I want to enjoin the Government of States to please extend appreciation to the efforts of the athletes irrespective of the categories of medals won,” he urged.
He also stated that ‘Abuja 2018’ recorded no major negative incident in all the competition venues for the duration of the Festival except for the sudden death of an Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) official on December 10, 2018.
Adesola however urged states to ensure that their athletes undergo a Pre-competition Medical Assessment as well as provide adequate number if medical staff within their Team Size Calculator for the Festival while expressing his happiness of no casualty recorded following an accident involving the Ogun State delegation on their way out of Abuja.