Cross River state governor, Liyel Imoke, says CR will in November of this year deliver to Nigeria, a National Sports Festival which will become “a benchmark for what a truly National Sports Festival should be in terms of facilities and organization”. To this end, the state will at the festival, unveil a new ultra-modern indoor sports hall as well as a new swimming pool which will be the first of its kind in sub-saharan Africa.
Represented at the opening of the 4th edition of the All Nigeria/CRS Athletics Championship by his deputy, Efiok Cobham, Imoke was quick to point out that the annual hosting of the meet is offering young people in CRS opportunities to realise their athletic dreams. The meet he also said, will set the tone for the 19th National Sports Festival, tagged “Centenary Games”, to be hosted by CRS.
Solomon Ogba, President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria, AFN, in his goodwill message at the occasion, expressed appreciation to the government and people of Cross River state for hosting the event year in, year out. Ogba was emphatic that, “from the moment we moved to Calabar, Blessing Okagbare’s turn around from a great jumper who also sprints, to a greater jumper and a greater sprinter” was achieved, setting in the process a new African record of 10.79 secs in the 100 metres for women. He also added that “one of the medals Okagbare won at the Moscow 2013 IAAF Championship, ended Nigeria’s 14 year wait for a World Championship medal in the sprints”. Ogba concluded by saying that CR’s support is already making the AFN thirst for the National Sports Festival.
The 3-day event which will come to a close on Saturday, June 21, 2014, has attracted a large number of local and international athletes to Calabar.
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