History was made on Saturday in Benin City at the Samuel Ogbemudia stadium, as the Edo State kickboxing association rounded off her first-ever state championship.
The championship which started on Friday with seminar, weighing-in and medical for the athletes saw exciting and entertaining bouts on the mats (for kids) and on the ring (for adults) on Saturday.
The first bout of the championship witnessed Iyare Aye, one of a set of quadruplets who caught the eyes of many at the championship competing in the age 4 category against Eghosa Godstime. Iyare won by unanimous decision against his opponent. He continued his good form till he got to the final of his category until he met his quadruplet sister, Amanda Aye in the finals who however won him by a split decision.
After the day’s events, the representative of the Edo State Sports Commission to the event, Mr. Charity Igbinosa who is the director of sports development and operations in the commission appreciated the Kickboxing Association board for the huge event.
He specifically hailed the Chairman of the board for his foresight and the Association’s focus on young Athletes who are the future of the sport. He said, “As you witnessed today, the young ones who competed today have a very high spirit for the game. Kickboxing is a new association in the state, and ever since they’ve been doing well, topping the medals table in every National tournament and sports festival.”
He also mentioned that the commission will continue to provide sports equipment as well as all-around support for athletes of the association representing the state during state and national championships.
Mr Martin Umaigo, a parent of two athletes who won Gold medals during the championship was full of praise for the association for the initiative, stating that the championship was a success. He also said that he hopes that more support comes from both the state government and private individuals to improve on the gains of the association and to ensure that the next edition will be more colourful.
On his part, the chairman of the Edo State Kickboxing Association board, Mr Owen Okperigho was excited over the encouraging turnout of supporters and dignitaries at the championship, promising that the board will continue to do more to promote the sport in Edo state.
As the future of Kickboxing in Edo State and by extension, the country, the Chairman promised that the focus on the young ones will be sustained, maintaining that the goal is to remain as the number one state in kickboxing in the country, raising the next African and World champions and ensuring that individuals have basic knowledge of combat to help them in the area of self-defence.
Over fifty athletes competed for medals in nine categories in the championship and here is the medals table:
- Age 4-6 Category
(a) Amanda Aye – Gold
(b) Iyare Aye – Silver
(c) Abigail Aye – 1st bronze
(d) Aliya Aye – 2nd bronze
- Age 7-8 Category
(a) Jason Obimayo – Gold
(b) Michael Idiagbae – Silver
(c) Jason Benson – 1st bronze
(d) Kharis Ojekhua – 2nd bronze
- Age 10-12 Female Category
(a) Miracle Obimayo – Gold
(b) Akpovofona Precious – Silver
(c) Eno Gift – 1st bronze
(d) Victory Erabor – 2nd bronze
- Age 10-12 Male Category
(a) Eze Emeka – Gold
(b) Miracle Augustine – Silver
(c) Taiwo Godsdoing – 1st bronze
(d) Uwadia Favour – 2nd bronze
- Age 13-14 Male Category
(a) Gabriel Etafor – Gold
(b) Happy Imafidon – Silver
(c) Paris Idiagbai – 1st bronze
(d) Ibe Destiny – 2nd bronze
- Junior Female Category
(a) Priscilla Obiefulem – Gold
(b) Mary Stephen – Silver
(c) Okoh Precious – 1st bronze
(d) Blessing Isaiah – 2nd bronze
- Junior Male Category
(a) Taiwo Samuel – Gold
(b) Daniel Esoalele – Silver
(c) Winke Uju- iloh – 1st bronze
(d) Saheed Oseni – 2nd bronze
- Senior Heavyweight Male Category
(a) Hosea Busal – Gold
(b) Ossai Joel – Silver
- Senior Lightweight Male Category
(a) Karo Gabriel – Gold
(b) Lucky Opara – Silver