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NSF: Delta govt condoles with Imo over loss of athlete

From Esther Akaa, Asaba

The Delta State government has commiserated with the Government and people of Imo State over the unfortunate death of a boxer, Chukwuemeka Igboanugo, representing Imo State at the ongoing National Sports Festival (NFS) in Asaba.

The Voice reports that the 25-year-old boxer died after losing a fight through knockout to Anambra’s Prince Gaby Amagor in the 86kg category at the 21st edition of the NSF.

The Delta State Commissioner for Information, Mr Charles Aniagwu, who doubles as the Chairman, Media/Publicity Committee, Delta 2022 made this known on Wednesday during a press briefing held at the Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba.

Aniagwu said the state government and the Local Organising Committee (LOC) of the event also condoled with the body of athletes in Nigeria, as well as the boxing federation over the irreparable loss.

He described the incident as unfortunate, saying that all efforts by medical personnel to resuscitate the Imo-boxer failed, assuring that the state would unravel the real cause of his death.

“At this moment, we need the approval of not only the boxing federation, we also need the approval of the Imo state contingent led by its officials, as well as the immediate family of the deceased to conduct an autopsy to ascertain the cause of his death.

“However, it’s suspected possibly that what is called intracranial hemorrhagic bleeding may have occurred. It is also possible that he died as a result of bleeding internally in the head and blood flowing to the brain may have occurred because when he fell, he was immediately rushed to the clinic within the environment by the ringside medics, who were unable to handle the case.

“As they were rushing him to that clinic, the ambulance was already prepared knowing that he was already struggling to survive and immediately he was rushed to our specialist hospital and it was at that point that he was confirmed dead,” Aniagwu said.

He said that the deceased died as a hero and a patriotic Nigerian, who only did not come to participate, but to win gold medal for his state and prayed God to grant him eternal rest.

On the performance of states at the sports festival, the commissioner said Delta was leading with a total of 146 gold medals.

“The total medal haul for Delta is 275 and the next state in terms of gold which is Bayelsa has so far won 40 gold medals,” he said.

He, appreciated journalists for the developmental approach they have brought to the practice of their profession in ensuring adequate coverage of the event and urged them to sustain it.

Meantime, Team Nasarawa has qualified for the final of the 57kg Male Boxing event.

It was Habeeb Obayomi, who qualified the team for the final of the game when he overcame his Niger State opponent, Quazim Quyum 3-2 in the semi-finals held on Wednesday.

Similarly, Shehu Lawal and Sani Yau are through to the semi-finals of the Men’s Tennis Doubles after they both combined to outclass Team Lagos 7-5-7-5(2-0), catapulting them to the medals’ stage.

Team Nasarawa has also qualified for the Quarter-Finals of the Mixed Doubles Tennis event.

Coach Shuaibu Usman-led Lawal and Loveth Ogah had produced a breathtaking 6-1-6-2(2-0) victory over their FCT, Abuja, opponents to qualify for the forthcoming game.

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