By MADUABUCHI KALU
Nigeria on Sunday retained her No1 sport in the Africa Zone 2 Junior Swimming Championship as she beat Ghana and Senegal to 2nd and 3rd positions respectively, as the host garnered a total of 87 medals in the three day swimming championship for some countries in West Africa and Central Africa countries.
It is recalled that Nigeria won the median edition of the championship which she equally hosted in 2012 in Akure, the Ondo state capital.
A total of 11 countries participated in the three day junior swimming championship aimed at discovering young swimmers in the zone that will take over from aging swimmers. The countries that participated in the championship which kicked off on Friday, Oct 27 and ended on Sunday, October 29 include hosts, Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, Togo, Central Africa Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea, Gambia, Niger, Sierra Lone and Benin Republic. Many records were broken and new ones set in different events.
Meanwhile, Nigeria’s medal haul is as follows: 26g, 35s and 26b bring the total to 87medals. The second placed team, Ghana won 12g, 9s and 6b thereby their total medals haul to 27 while Senegal that placed 3rd garnered a total of 17 medals made up of 8g, 3s and 6b. Benin Republic was placed 4th with 2g, 1s and 7b medals. Other teams could not win any medal.
There were individual awards apart from the medals that individual won in different events. In the categories that the championship was classified into are Group A, made up of ages 13/14 and Group B is made up of ages 15/16 both boys and girls.
In ages 13/14, the best swimmer for boys was Jackson Kow of Ghana who won 4g and 3s medals. In the ages 15/16, the best swimmer for boys was Ndiane Amoudu of Senegal, who won 8g, 1s and 1b medals to bring his total medal haul to 10.
The best for girls in the ages 13/14, it was Maayaa Ayawere of Ghana that won with 4g and 1s while the best swimmer for ages 15/16 was Okpochini Anita of Nigeria who won 4g medal.
The outstanding team male (combined) went to Nigeria having won 10g, 17s and 15b medals while the outstanding team female (combined) was won by Nigeria with a total of 13g, 17 and 9b.
Many dignitaries attended the closing ceremony of the three day international junior swimming championship tagged 2nd Africa Zone 2 Junior Swimming Championship, including the Chairman of Delta State Sports Commission, Chief Tonobok Okowa, the former vice president of CANA and FINA, Chief Adetokunbo Thomas, the President of the Nigeria Aquatics Federation (NAqF), Mr. Babatunde Fatayi Williams, a member of CANA and FINA Technical Committee, Mr. Steve Onyeacholam, the President of Senegalese Aquatics Federation, that of Ghana, Benin and the Secretary General of Sierra Leone Aquatics Federation.
Nigeria won the giant gold trophy for emerging champions of the 2nd Africa Zone 2 Junior Swimming Championship. Plaques were also won by the different teams and individual who participated in the three day championship.
Meanwhile, it has been revealed that Senegal will host the Africa Zone Senior Swimming Championship next year while Gambia will host the 3rd edition of the championship in 2019.