By Olayinka Owolewa
Defending champions Team Delta on Saturday in Ilorin won the third edition of the National Youth Games (NYG), after gathering 22 gold, 16 silver and 23 bronze medals.
Team Akwa Ibom came second with 16 gold, 15 silver and 15 bronze medals, while Ondo State finished third with 12 gold, 12 silver and 12 bronze medals.
Hosts Kwara which finished third last year with 8 gold, 7 silver and 6 bronze medals dropped one place to fourth with 10 gold, 10 silver and 9 bronze medals.
Ogun gathered 7 gold, 6 silver and 14 bronze medals to place fifth, while Bayelsa were in sixth place with 7 gold, 5 silver and 10 bronze medals.
Benue has 7 gold, 4 silver and 5 bronze medals in 7th place with Kaduna State in 8th position with 6 gold, 4 silver and 8 bronze medals.
Osun won 6 gold, 4 silver and 4 bronze medals to finish in ninth place.
Niger completed the list of top 10 states with 6 gold, 2 silver and 1 bronze medals.
FCT garnered 4 gold, 3 silver and 7 bronze medals to finish in 11th position, with Oyo State in 12th place with 3 gold, 2 silver and 10 bronze medals.
Plateau occupied the 13th position with 2 gold, 7 silver and 11 bronze medals, while Anambra finished 14th with 2 gold, 7 silver and 4 bronze medals.
Kano State ended the competition with 2 gold, 4 silver and 4 bronze medals in 15th place, with Rivers in 16th position with 2 gold, 4 silver and 3 bronze medals.
Kogi won 2 gold, 3 silver and 5 bronze medals to place 17th, while Imo finished in 18th place with 2 gold and 2 bronze medals.
Ekiti State won only 2 gold in 19th place to push Nasarawa State into 20th position after it gathered 1 gold, 6 silver and 1 bronze medals.
NAN reports that Delta had won the Games second edition at the same University of Ilorin venue with a total of 9 gold, 7 silver and 10 bronze medals.
Speaking during the closing ceremony, the Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung, said the ministry was working assiduously to improve on the standard of the Games.
The Minister explained that it was in line with this that the number of events would be streamlined to reduce the burden of hosting.
“Also, the Games will from the fourth edition in 2018 feature only under-15 athletes, in order for us to be able to fight age falsification,’’ he said.
Dalung said it was important to do this because the role of sports in youth development could not be over-stressed.
“The Games provides an avenue to bring the youths together under an atmosphere of friendly competition designed to enhance their potentials and all-round development,’’ he said.
NAN reports that the Games which began on Sept. 7 ended on Saturday in Ilorin.