A cross-section of Delta athletes at the ongoing 19th National Sports Festival in Abuja on Saturday said the N1 million promised for each gold medal by state governor Ifeanyi Okowa is the motivation behind their success so far.
Team Delta has at Saturday afternoon won four gold medals from the swimming events and seems not ready to relinquish the first position, with their supporters spurring them to victory.
Speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria, Deborah Okpochini who won the women’s 100m freestyle event, the state’s first gold medal in swimming, said the prize money motivated her.
Okpochini said: “I am so happy to have won. I trained hard for this and I am grateful to God that I made it.
“I am also motivated by the prize money the governor promised. I thought of that money and made up my mind to do my best.”
Similarly, Foresight Osamezu, with a gold medal in men’s 100m breaststroke, said he was glad about becoming a million Naira richer.
Osamezu said: “I am happy with Delta and with the development of sports there.
“The governor is really doing a lot for the athletes in terms of facilities and motivation. So, winning comes easy for us.
“Now, I can say I am a million Naira richer. I will have to also work harder to represent my state in subsequent championships.”
Also, two other athletes, Oyins Ndakwe and Ifeakachukwu Nmor, harped on the need for better motivation for athletes in the country.
Ndakwe and Nmor, gold medal winners in women’s 200m butterfly and men’s 200m freestyle events respectively, said the reward from Okowa was good motivation and had spurred them to success.