The North-Central Zonal Elimination Competition ahead of the 2021 National Youth Games (NYG) ended on Monday in Ilorin, with Kwara picking qualification tickets in seven team sports.

The hosts won the tickets for cricket (male and female), football (male and female), volleyball (male) and rugby (male and female).

The final results signed by the Zonal Coordinator, North-Central, Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Pitmang Deborah, showed that Benue picked four slots, all in female events.

These are in basketball, handball, hockey and volleyball.

Niger won in only two events, basketball and handball, both in the male category, while FCT won the tickets for both male and female beach volleyball.

Nasarawa state won only a slot, in male hockey.

A total of 648 delegates from the FCT and five states in the North-Central geo-political zone participated in the Zonal Elimination.

The states are Kwara, Benue, Nasarawa state, Niger and Plateau, with Kogi being the only absentee from the zone.

Kwara fielded the highest number of athletes (137), followed by Nasarawa state (107), FCT (98), Niger (90) and Benue (85).

Speaking later, Chairman of the Kwara State Sports Commission, Bolakale Mogaji, expressed satisfaction with the performance of the state’s athletes.

”I am sure that they will come out better at the Games proper,” he said.

The commission’s Director-General, Steve Olarinoye, on his part said the state’s performance was not by accident but the result of investment by the state government in youth and sports development.

The NYG will hold at the University of Ilorin Sports Complex from Oct. 10 to Oct. 19.

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