- Published on Monday, 25 June 2012 00:16
- Written by Elombah.com
The 2nd ECOWAS Under-23 Games ended in Accra on Friday 22nd June 2012 with host Ghana edging out defending champions and host of the inaugural edition of the regional competition, Nigeria by 17 to 13 gold medals. Although Ghana won less number of medals, 37 to Nigeria’s total haul of 39, the host nation topped the
table by virtue of its gold tally, especially from boxing.
To clinch the best national team’s trophy, Ghana recorded 17 Gold, 11 Silver and nine bronze, while Nigeria, which won the maiden edition of the Games in 2010, came second with 13 Gold, 20 Silver and six bronze, followed by Senegal with four Gold, one Silver, and five bronze medals.
Declaring the six-day competition closed at Accra’s El-Wak Sports Stadium, Ghana’s Youth and Sports Minister Honourable Clement Kofi Humado urged governments and other stakeholders to support National Sports Associations materially and otherwise, to enable them deliver on their mandate and ensure that the region excelled in international competitions.
He stressed that sports should be used as a tool to promote peace and regional unity and for youth development and empowerment.
The Minister also enjoined the young athletes to avail themselves of the benefits of the new friends they have made at the Games and remain in touch through the use of social media.
Speaking on behalf of the President of the ECOWAS Commission, His Excellency Kadre Desire Ouedraogo, the Commissioner for Human Development and Gender, Dr. Adrienne Diop, urged stakeholders to give a serious thought to the proposal by regional Ministers of Youth and Sports of making the ECOWAS Games a qualification series for the All-Africa Games, and even the Olympic Games.
Also, while lauding the achievements of the just-concluded competition, she noted that “challenges abound for the future of our sports development as well as for future editions of the ECOWAS Games.”
The Commissioner therefore called on the private sector to partner with the ECOWAS Commission in financing the biennial Games, held this year under the theme: Promoting Peace and Unity among ECOWAS Youth through Sports.
She congratulated the athletes for putting up a great performance and commended the Government and people of Ghana for being wonderful hosts and for the excellent facilities put at the disposal of participants.
Commissioner Diop also lauded the creation of the Union of National Handball Federations on the sidelines of the Accra Games.
In his assessment, Mr. Francis Chuks Njoaguani, Director of the ECOWAS Youth and Sports Development Centre, which coordinates the regional competition for the ECOWAS Commission, described the Accra Games as a great success. He also expressed the hope that future games would record more successes going by the popularity and growing interests generated by the sporting fiesta.
A highlight of the closing ceremony was the handing over of the Games Flag to Cote d’Ivoire’s Ambassador to Ghana, His Excellency Bernard Ehui Kotoan, whose country will host the 3rd Edition of the competition in 2014.
More than 2,500 sportsmen and women, coaches and officials from 11 of the 15 ECOWAS Member States took part in the Accra Games which featured athletics, handball, volleyball, African wrestling, and boxing, which made its debut at the biennial regional sporting competition.
Below is the final medals’ table:
Country Gold Silver Bronze Total
1. Ghana 17 11 09 37
2. Nigeria 13 20 06 39
3. Senegal 04 01 05 10
4. Niger 03 02 05 10
5. Cote d’Ivoire 02 00 01 03
6. Benin 01 02 05 08
7. Togo 01 00 01 01
8. Burkina Faso 00 03 06 09
9. Mali 00 01 06 07
10. Liberia 00 01 00 01
11. Sierra Leone 00 00 01 01