Despite an apparent slow start to the 20th National Sports Festival, Edo 2020 by Team Rivers, having garnered eight gold medals with some silver and bronze medals, four days into the fiesta, there are still hope that the state’s contingent would still take the festival by storm and live up to expectation.
Speaking to newsmen in Benin City yesterday as the festival progresses, Rivers State’s Commissioner for Sports, Hon Boma Iyaye said that expections in Team Rivers camp were still
He said that despite the apparent low medal haul in the opening days of the festival, he was confident of the team doing very well. According to him, “the important thing is that the athletes we’re feeling good, well and putting in their best and there’s hope that at the end of the day, they’ll do well and achieve a position befitting to the pride of the state”.
On the chances of the team in the track and field events, scheduled to commence today, where the state is expecting ample medals harvest, Hon Iyaye said that he is hopeful, especially, in high jump, where Big Brother star, looks a sure bet for gold, but that no one should get ahead of himself until the competition is concluded.”We are hopeful but we should not count our chicks before they are hatched.
Our athletes are prepared and ready, our Governor provided the wherewithall for us and we’re looking forward to making the state proud”.
Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Sports and Head of Festival Committee, Sir Honour Sirawoo, said that it is not over until it is over.
He expressed confidence that as the festival progresses and gets to events where the state has some comparative advantage, there are chances that the contingent would surpass the 69 gold medals won at the last festival.
He believes that Team Rivers has the potential to emerge overall winners but that recent history shows that states like Delta, Edo and few others should not be discountenanced.
As at press time, many Team Rivers athletes have qualified for the finals of their events, especially, in combat sports and there is hope for more medals.