By Ikenna Nwokedi, PhD
Team Anambra finished 15th on the medals’ table at the just concluded 6th National Youth Games (NYG) hosted by the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN), Kwara State. The state contingent consisting of 115 athletes and 40 officials recorded a total of 14 medals; 2 Gold, 9 Silver and 3 Bronze to put the state once again on the National Chart for Sports and as well the only state in the South East Geopolitical zone at the Games that won Gold medals.
Team Anambra featured in 16 events namely Athletics, Volleyball, Beach Volleyball, Boxing, Chess, Cricket, Rugby, Judo, Karate, Scrabble, Chess, Weightlifting, Wrestling, Kung Fu, Taekwondo, and Table Tennis. Notable moments at the 6th NYG for the state is in the team sports event; Rugby and Volleyball, were the female teams won silver medals in their respective events and the board game Scrabble were the three female sensations, Mmesoma Daniel, Gloria Nwafor and Jacinta Ogbu pitched tent against heavyweights such as Lagos, Edo, Delta and FCT to win Gold and two Silver medals.
Meanwhile, Delta State emerged Champions of the 2021 edition of the NYG with a total of 114 medals to surpass their record in 2019 where they amassed a total of 104 medals. Lagos State finished second on the log with 72 medals same as the previous edition, Edo State came third with 40 medals while the host of the next edition of the NYG Kano State, finished 18th with 8 medals.
At the colourful closing ceremony held on Tuesday at the Maracana Stadium, the Honourable Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Dare stated that the 6th NYG has brought about an awesome time of competition, developing healthy rivalries, bringing the best young talents in Nigeria together and giving them the platform to do what they love the most.
Dare disclosed that some amazing athletes were discovered such as 9-year-old Gift Torhile from FCT and 10-year-old Wilson Bright from Delta State. He eulogized the exploits of Akinwowon Oladeji from Lagos State, the physically challenged boy who won the 100, 200 and 400 metres for his state. The Honourable Minister highlighted issues of age cheating which almost marred the success of the Games, he disclosed that the ministry will consider the NIMC registration as a requirement for athletes before they can participate henceforth stating that the measure is needed to avoid losing out on a possible potential medalist being screened out as over aged while also helping in identifying over aged athletes and putting a stop to their quest towards participating at the Games.
35 states participated in this year’s championship with 34 sports being competed for. A total of 681 medals was won; 193 Gold, 190 Silver and 248 Bronze.
MEDALS’ HAUL FOR TEAM ANAMBRA AT THE 6TH NATIONAL YOUTH GAMES (NYG))
- Male Cricket Team – T20 (Gold)
- Gloria Nwafor, Mmesoma Daniel and Judith Ogbu – Team Scrabble: Female – (Gold)
- Onyinye Akuma – Female Karate: +47kg (Silver)
4) Male Cricket Team – ODI (Silver)
5) Gloria Nwafor – Female Scrabble (Silver)
6) Female Rugby (Silver)
7) Gloria Nwafor and Mmesoma Daniel – Female Scrabble (Silver)
8) Lucky Fiako – Male High Jump (Silver)
9) Oluebube Ubanede – Female KungFu: Taolu performance, 5.87 points (Silver)
10) Female Volleyball (Silver)
11) Male Chess (Silver)
12) Chinaza Oguaja – Female Judo: +32kg class (Bronze)
13) Hillary Moneme – Male Taekwondo -33kg class (Bronze)
14) Somtochukwu Onwuka – Female Shotput (Bronze)
Gold – 2
Silver – 9
Bronze – 3