Team Delta picked the first gold medal on Wednesday in the cycling event that heralded the opening ceremony of the 21st National Sports Festival in Asaba, Delta State.
By that achievement, the host state became the first to win a medal in the 2022 edition of the festival which will end on December 10.
To win the gold medal, Delta cyclists beat three other states, Oyo, Plateau and Lagos to emerge winners in the 12km mixed relay decided on Ibusa road earlier on Wednesday.
While Delta won in 35mins 41.84secs, Oyo picked silver in 37 minutes 29.84 and Plateau cyclists grabbed bronze in 39minutes 38.61secs. Lagos finished fourth in 40 minutes and 02.04secs.
However, the Technical Director of the Cycling Federation of Nigeria, Bashir Mohammed, disclosed yesterday that two other states, Edo and Rivers, were disqualified for their inability to present the minimum three female cyclists required for the event.
Delta is the defending champion of the National Sports festival, having finished top on the medals table at Edo 2020 edition held in Benin City. Delta State has won seven times in nine appearances.
After yesterday’s colourful opening ceremony at the Stephen Keshi stadium, the games will begin in earnest from today.
Most of the events are taking place at the ultra modern Stephen Keshi stadium in Asaba.