The Competition Director for the Edo 2020 National Sports Festival (NSF) Yussuf Alli on Sunday declared that National and Festival records, especially in athletics, could be broken at the Edo 2020 Sports Festival.
Speaking to sports correspondents in Benin, Edo State after inspection of facilities at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Alli said the base for the track is one of the best, if not the best he has seen anywhere in Nigeria.
“The base is very solid; I am impressed with the job the contractor has done. A good base is to track what good foundation is to a house. Once your foundation is solid; which is the base in this case, then you have solid track and a good track enhances athlete performance especially in the sprint events. I look forward to our athletes taking advantage of the solid base and good track to set new national and festival records in Benin come March 2020’’.
Alli revealed that apart from minor adjustments to be done in the long jump, discus, shot-put, and pole vault areas, the stadium is good to go.
“These adjustments will be done in less than one week, the stadium is good to go. Since the stadium is set, every other thing will fall into place.”
Alli revealed that beyond hosting to win, the aim of the host state, Edo, is to restore the glory of the festival, “We want to host a festival where youths in this country are given opportunities to showcase their talents on the national stage. We want to eliminate the idea of one athlete representing a state in an event and revert to the traditional of three athletes per event which is the international standard.
“Any state that has the resources to send three athletes per event should not be denied the opportunity. The idea of reducing events and athletes per events is not good for sports development. We have made our recommendation to the Sports Ministry, owners of the festival. We are awaiting their response. Let me again assure Nigerians, especially the participating athletes, officials and the media that Edo is ready to host the best NSF ever’’ said Alli.