By; JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
Fielding older looking athletes may have paid off for defending champions Team Delta as they emerged champions of the 2021 Edition of the National Youth Games (NYG) after hauling no fewer than a whooping 60 gold, 27 silver and 29 bronze medals.
Team Lagos which presented athletes which looked like the youngest at the games trailed for the second spot after picking 19 gold, 26 silver and 28 bronze medals, while 2020 National Sports Festival (NSF), hosts, Team Edo placed third after garnering 18 gold 10 silver and 11 bronze medals.
Untill the final day of the games, Edo had a prime position as the second on the table before they were miraculously displaced by the Lagos Team.
Team Kaduna put up.a good show to finish as the top state from the North West with four gold, five silver and seven bronze medals.
Top dignitaries at the closing ceremony were the Special Guest of Honour, Kwara State Governor, Abdulrazak, Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Chief Sunday Dare, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Sports Development Kaduna State, Alhaji Mahmud Yamusa, Vice Chancellor, University of Ilorin, Professor Abdulkareem Age Sulyman, represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor Research Mikhail Buhari and President NIgeria Volleyball Federation NIgeria (NVBF) Engineer Musa Nimrod.
Others spotted were Immediate past Director Grassroots Sports Development Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Dr. Ademola Are who is also the President Rugby Federation of NIgeria, SSA Sports to Governor of Osun State Governor, Gboyega Oyetola, Honourable Vincent Akinbami and factional President of the Athletics Federation of NIgeria (AFN), Tonobrok Okowa.
The colourful closing ceremony of the 6th NYG featured several side attractions including a combined march past from 3,020 athletes from 34 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Other activities witnessed included musical performances, cultural troupe, ball jogging and finals of some athletics events.
Cross sections of participants interviewed hailed the organisers for a successful games.
Earlier, the Sports Writers Association of NIgeria (SWAN) Kwara State Chapter were forced to a 1-1 draw in a novelty match played against visiting SWAN with players drawn from 34 other states and the FCT.
SWAN President, Sir Honour Sirawoo, President NVBF, Engineer Musa Nimrod who was the Special Guest of Honour, Kwara SWAN Patron, and other dignitaries watched the highly competitive novelty match.
Kwara SWAN scored via a penalty before their visiting colleagues equalised in the second half courtesy of an assist from Shehu Abdullahi aka Skippo from Kaduna chapter.