Journalists lament delay in updating NSF medals table

With over 500 medals up for grabs at the ongoing 21st National Sports Festival, there is a need for a regularly updated medal table, but that has not been the case at the championship in Asaba, the Delta State capital.

As at Day 3 of the festival, there was no table for journalists to back up their reports and the fans, who have been yearning to know how their states have fared.

From the fourth day, a medals table began to circulate, but different states contingents complained about the table, saying it wasn’t updated to reflect their medal haul.

On Sunday, the 5pm table was shared to the National Sports Festival media platform at 10:22pm.

“It’s unfortunate that we have no idea of the amount of medals won as at today (Sunday),” a reporter with Daily Trust, Olujide Olusola, stated on Sunday.

“Yes, I know that it can be sometimes late before the table is out because of some events that may be held late, but by now we should have seen something. The table I saw today (Sunday) is the one of yesterday (Saturday) and we have seen more athletes win more medals.”

Olusola added that the absence of a working collation centre caused the delay in releasing the updated medals table.

“There is no way we can see all the results from one place, except there is a collation centre, but unfortunately the collation centre is not functioning at the moment. They need to work on that, they are a little bit slow and thus not giving the journalists the statistics to effectively do their jobs and give the right information to the public.”

Another journalist, Faith Omozokpia, who works for Titan Sports, added, “I’m not very pleased with the fact that the medals table has not been regularly updated since the event started. We are having little hitches in our reports because of this.

When our correspondent visited the office of the Secretary of Games Services, Austin Balewa, at 9am on Monday, he shed light on what caused the delay in releasing the medals table.

“After we receive the results of the events, we have to tally them. The chairman of the festival will have to sign them, so if we cannot reach the chairman to sign off on the late games, as he might have closed for the day, those results will not be put into the medal table. This is because without his authentication, those results will not be valid.

“If any state, athlete or journalist finds out that a particular result is not reflected on the table, it is either we have not heard from that particular sports federation, or authentication has not been done or the results came late to the Games office,” Balewa told our correspondent.

He, however, promised that an accurate table would be made available on Friday, before a winner would be announced at the closing ceremony scheduled for Saturday.

“On the night of December 9, the medals table will be updated accurately, so the chairman is also going to close late on that night to sign off on all late results as a winner needs to be announced during the closing ceremony on December 10,” Balewa said.


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