Super Eagles stand-in captain, Ahmed Musa; Africa’s number one table–tennis sensation, Aruna Quadri and Nigeria’s basketball team captain, Evelyn Akhator have all emerged winners at the 2018 Nigerian Sports Award held at Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island in Lagos on Friday.
The glamorous award gala saw Ahmed Musa emerged the football of the Year by beating his teammate Kenneth Omeruo and Super Falcons player, Rasheed Ajibade while Aruna Quadri was crowned the winner of Sportsman of the Year award ahead of contenders Ike Diogu and Ahmed Musa.
It was also a glorious night for the basketball community as the category dominated the medal haul, winning three award categories out of which two were won by D-Tigress, Nigeria’s Basketball team captain, Evelyn Akhator.
Akhator stole the show by winning both the Basketball Player of the Year and Sportswoman of the Year categories at the event with D’ Tigress crowning it all with the Team of the Year award
The seventh edition of the award was witnessed by large number of distinguished personalities in both sports and Nollywood industry some of which include President of Wrestling Federation, Mr. Daniel Igali, Hakeem Olajuwon, Sola Sobowale, Tina Mba, Muma Gee, 2018 Big Brother Housemate, Anto Lecky among others.
The River State Governor, Nyesom Wike emerged winner for his unflinching commitment to sports development ahead of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode and Governor of Delta State, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa.
For the Sports Administrator of the Year, the President of Badminton Federation of the Year, Mr. Francis Orbih picked up the crown beating the trio of President of The Nigeria Basketball Federation, Ahmed Musa Kida, President of Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick and Boye Oyerinde, President of the Nigerian Squash Federation.
The Wrestler of the Year went to Odunayo Adekuroye after beating the likes of John Emmanuel and Blessing Oborududu; for the Coach of the Year, the Nigerian Para Power-Lifting Coach, Are Feyisetan emerged winner ahead of Super Eagles Coach, Gernot Rohr and D’ Tigers Coach, Otis Hugley. The Racket Sportsperson of the Year award went to ace badminton player Yemisi Olatunji, ahead of recentLagos ITTF competition winners, Aruna Quadri and Marylove Edwards.
The Para Sports Person of the Year award went to top para powerlifter, Commonwealth gold medalist and world record holder Esther Oyema, beating Bose Omolayo and Paul Kehinde, while the track and field star of the year award was won by ace sprinter, Tobiloba Amusan seeing off the duo of Ese Brume and Joy Udoh-Gabriel.
For the Team Sports Person of the year, a member of the historic Bobsled team which represented Nigeria at the recently concluded winter Olympics, Seun Adigun beat Kingsley Okubuike of the Nigerian Handball team to emerge winner, while in the Discovery of the Year category, Joy Udoh-Gabriel emerged tops ahead of Simisola Balogun and Rasheed Omidiji by emergin
In the Journalism category, George Essien of Comfort Radio in Uyo, Akwa Ibom emerged the Radio Sports Presenter of the Year while the Journalist of the Year for Print category and Photojournalist of the Year were won by Gowon Akpodonor of the Guardian newspapers and Akeem Salau of Vanguard newspapers respectively.
It will be recalled that this year’s award recorded the highest number of participation from the general public as over 7.5 millionindividuals voted across all sports categories.
The Nigerian Sports Award is the only Nigerian awards dedicated to recognizing the achievements of our sports men and women, both present and past that have shone brilliantly in the sporting world.
To close the star studded event, the executive director, Nigerian Sports Award, Mr. kayode Idowu congratulated all winners, stating that their excellence in their respective fields have brought them this well deserved accolade. He also appreciated all nominees, partners, sponsors, attendees as well as the general public who stayed glue to their TV set to witness the gala on Supersport 9.
“We thank God for a great event this year, are a sure next year woulddefinitely be bigger and better,” Idowu said.