by crossriverwatch admin
Cross River State Commissioner for Youths and Sports Development, Mr. Patrick Ugbe has said that the state was denied of about three gold medals at the 18th National Sports Festival, tagged Eko 2012.
Ugbe who stated this in an interview with crossriverwatch in Calabar, the state capital said that kick boxing which is one of the events where the state had factor advantage in the festival was cancelled.
He said that the state was sure of getting at least two or three gold medals from kick boxing which would have increased the gold medals tally of the state to about 15 instead of the 12 that it won at the competition.
The Sports Commissioner explained that kick boxing was cancelled as a result of the alleged irregularities by officials which made the crowd to be restive thereby making the organizers to put it off.
He assured that in 2014 when the state will be hosting the festival, Cross River will be among the first three on the medal table.
Ugbe said Nigerians should be prepared to have fun during the 19th sports festival tagged ‘Paradise 2014’ to be hosted by the state as the state will showcase its hospitality and tourism potentials.
He said, “Well, the intension is for us to start now to prepare for 2014, the signs are quite positive with what we saw at the festival; our contingents were a relatively young team and we believe that by 2014, they would have matured more and with seriousness on our part to prepare the team, we believe that we will do very well in 2014.
“Nigeria should expect the best festival as I did promise when I received the flag that the paradise games will be the best sports festival yet organized in its history we should expect that, this is a home of tourism and we should showcase our usual hospitality when we host the festival in 2014 and Nigerians should be prepared to have fun in Calabar,” he said.
Ugbe who refused to give a specific number of gold medals the state will be expected to win in the competition said, “But what I know is that we will do very well. If we do not win first we will be among the top three when we host the 2014 games, we’ll surely be among the top three.”
He rated the performance of athletes from the Cross River State in the competition high and added that the state would have surpassed its performance if not for the cancellation of kick boxing which he said the state had advantage.
“Well I rate their performance very highly, they did very well. Yes we said we targeted at least14 gold medals and they got 12 gold medals, don’t forget that one of the events where we have a strong point was cancelled, that is kick boxing.
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