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In less than one month from now, about ten thousand Athletes and Officials from the 36 States of Nigeria and the Federal Capital Territory will converge on Abuja for the Nineteenth National Sports Festival, tagged, Abuja 2018. Team Anambra will compete for Laurels in twenty-four out of the thirty-seven events. The State will compete in Combat Sports, Racket games, Ball games, Track and Field, and traditional sports.
During the zonal elimination for South-East States, team Anambra emerged victorious to represent the zone in volley ball and hand ball. Swimming is one event which has many medals at stake. However, Team Anambra has not fared well in this event, despite the abundant talents existing in most riverine communities of the State begging for harnessing.
On the other hand, Governor Willie Obiano has done a lot to revive sports in the state. Recently, he detached sports from the bureaucracy prevalent in the ministries by creating Anambra State Sports Development Commission as an Independent entity. The just concluded Sports Trials held in the three Senatorial Zones of the State led to the discovery of young promising Athletes , who are now poised to do the State proud in the Abuja Sports Festival.
No doubt, since Obiano came on board, Team Anambra has been sponsored by the State Government to many National and International competitions and this initiative is now yielding the required dividends. The State Athletes have attended virtually all sporting competitions in the last three years, while other States can hardly Transport their Teams to events.
Governor Obiano, within few months in Office, inaugurated the first Tartan Track Project at Rojenny Stadium, Oba, which led to the staging of the First Athletic Federation of Nigeria competition in the South East there. Many Athletes and Officials from the State that distinguished themselves in Sports are enjoying the Fruit of their labour because the State Government has adopted reward system as a way of encouraging sports in the State.
Team Anambra should therefore go all out to make the state proud in Abuja in view of the massive support given to it by the Government. The State should assembly her athletes in the Diaspora so that they will wear the Black and Egg-yolk Yellow Colours of Anambra State during the Sports Fiesta.
Obinna Metuh should occupy one of the ten-lane-tracks for Team Anambra in the one hundred and two hundred metres events. This short distance race specialist used to be a training partner of the fastest man in the globe, Usain Bolt of Jamaica. Amaka Ogoegbunam is a four hundred metres hurdles champion and will have no problem in her event as Ndi Anambra expect her to earn gold in her event. Clement Onyejeme, based in the U.S., should take the centre stage in Short-put and Discus, while Grace Anigbata should compete in Triple Jump.
Ifeoma Nwoye, who has in her custody the 2010 commonwealth Games gold medal in Wrestling, should fight for Team Anambra with her friend, Rosemary Nweke. Team Anambra is expected to make an indelible impression in Abuja, taking into consideration the Star-studded Team that will slug it out during the quest for medals.
The release of Ebele Agbapulonwu from her base in Qatar to compete for Anambra will boost the morale of the State contingent. This young unassuming athlete was discovered at the Youth Games in Kwara, where she ran the fastest race of the competition, winning the two hundred and four hundred metres events, after which Sports Scouts facilitated her movement outside the shores of the country.
Anambra has never played second fiddle to any other State in Nigeria in any human endeavour and team Anambra should maintain this high standard for which the State is known at the nineteenth National Sports Festival in Abuja.

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