After the successful and glamorous opening ceremony for the 20th National Sports Festival held at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City, on Tuesday evening, Team Nasarawa’s quest to immediately increase her medal haul got momentarily halted earlier today after the duo of Maria Raphael and Isa Ahmadu Abdullahi got pinched out in the quarter-finals stage of the Taekwondo women’s and men’s categories.
Maria Raphael after Tuesday’s 16-4 points success recorded against her Edo State’s counterpart, Ogeh, her sojourn was ended by her Abia State’s opponent, Uzoamaka, 8-16 points, in the women’s 47kg category.
Maria’s companion, Isa Ahmadu Abdullahi, had also, a day before, defeated his Bauchi State’s rival, by 31 points, before getting knocked out 14-24 points in the quarter-finals today by Lawal Usman from Kano State, in the men’s 58kg category.
Hopes are, however, rife for a medal as Bashir Musa Usman warms up to engage in his first fight when he squares up against his regional neighbour from Plateau State in the men’s 62kg category any moment from now.
More medal hopes are in the offings in Judo and Boxing sports for Team Nasarawa as Grace Haruna brims with confidence of winning the bronze medal fight in the women’s +78kg category as Judo Sport climaxes today, while boxer, Musa Yusuf, after punching out his Niger State counterpart by knockout in the second round of the quarter-finals, in the 69kg Welterweight men’s category, is more than expectant to win any of the available medals – Gold, Silver or Bronze, for Team Nasarawa.
As the festival days continue to unfold, Team Nasarawa will be participating in more sporting events with the expectations to increase their medal chances.