Sunyani (B/A), Sept. 4, GNA - The 24th Edition of the National Schools and Colleges Sports Festival held in Sunyani in the Brong-Ahafo Region came to an end on Saturday with the Central Regional team collecting 10 gold, four silver and three bronze medals in both the Boys and Girls divisions to emerge the over-all champions of the Festival. The Central Region won the first three best positions in the various disciplines of the eight-day Festival.
In the boys' soccer final match, the Central regional team, led in attack by danger boy Takiyuden Mohammed of Winneba Secondary School (WINNISEC) played a determined game to lick their Ashanti Regional counterparts 1-0 in their crucial duel through an own goal scored by a hard-pressed Ashanti Regional defender just before the end of the first half.
The victory thus made the Central boys to retain the Soccer championship trophy they won in the last festival held at Ho in the Volta Region in 2003.
Mohammed eventually emerged the Festival's "best soccer player" The Central Regional team also defeated Western Region in the boys' hockey final match to become the new hockey champions.
In the Girls Table tennis, the Central Region team also placed first when they defeated their Greater Accra counterparts in the final encounter.
Greater Accra boys, who were the defending hockey champions, could only contend with the third position.
The Central Region could however not retain the boys' Athletic championship they won in the 2003 Festival as they narrowly placed second to their Ashanti Regional counterparts in the over-all positions. Central was also second in the boys' Table Tennis, came second in the girls' Hockey and Cross Country and third in the Boys' Cross Country and Girls' Handball competitions.
Ashanti Region, which followed second with the greatest number of medals in the over-all positions, placed first in the boys' and girls' Athletics as well as the girls' Hockey competitions.
Ashanti Region was also second in the boys' Soccer and Cross Country as well as in the girls' Cross Country and girls' Soccer. The side attraction of this year's festival was the presentation of cash prizes to individual Athletes who placed from first to third positions in both the track and field events by the Maria Tsakos Foundation of the United States of America, sponsors of the Athletics competition.
Athletes who placed first in each of the Field and Track events received one million cedis each while the second and third placed Athletes got seven hundred and five hundred thousand cedis respectively. At the end of the Festival each of the over-all "best track" and "best field" athletes in both boys' and girls' divisions also received cash prize of 3,375,000 cedis (three million three hundred and seventy-five thousand cedis).
A proud winner of the Maria Tsakos Special cash prize was Ms Salamatu Musah of Eastern Region, who emerged the over-all best girls athlete in both the track and field events to collect a total of 6,750,000 cedis prize.
Salamatu earlier in the two-day Athletics competition held at the Sunyani Secondary School (SUSEC) Park received five million cedis for placing first in the Girls' 100 meters, 200 meters and 400 meters track races as well as high jump and hurdles in the field events. 04 Sept. 05