THE 12th West Africa University Games (WAUG) ended last Saturday in Accra with Nigerian institutions winning over 300 out of the 342 medals the event fetched.
The host- and- win dream of the University of Ghana (UG) in respect of the just-ended WAUG failed to materialise when the Nigerians, who paraded 30 out of the 43 universities in all, occupied the first 10 positions on the medal table, with the University of Port-Harcourt of Nigeria lifting 21 gold, 13 silver and 7 bronze medals to emerge overall winners. They were followed by Lagos University with 20 gold, 18 silver and 6 bronze while Obafimi Awolowo University placed third with 8 gold, 4 silver and 6 bronze medals.
The University of Cape Coast took the 11th position with 3 gold, 2 silver and 2 bronze medals followed by hosts University of Ghana who had 2 gold, 3 silver and 10 bronze, while Paraku University of Benin lifted their only precious gold medal in soccer after beating the University of Ghana 4-3 on penalties after a 1-1 draw in regulation time to rank 13th.
University of Education, Winneba (UEW), came 34th with only 8 bronze medals followed by the University of Cote d'Ivoire which was last on the table with 2 bronze medals.
The WAUG closing ceremony which consisted of the lowering of the games flag by team leaders, presentation of games flag to the next host and extinguishing of games flame and award of medals, was attended by important dignitaries including Professor Clifford Nii Boye Tagoe, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana; President of WAUG, Professor Lasun Emiola of Nigeria; and Dr. Owusu Ansah, Chief Director at the Ministry of Education, Science and Sports who represented the minister.
In his closing remarks, Professor Lasun Emiola said he felt highly honoured and delighted to formally receive the flag of the games on behalf of Ilorin and the people of Nigeria in general.
He said the games were important not only to the universities but also to ECOWAS countries for the socio-economic and political integration of the sub-region.
“We are also using sports as development for integration, and for peace which is a challenge we will like to embrace, to ensure continuity, and higher ideals of the games”, he stated.
Founded in 1964 after a meeting of all West African Universities at Ibadan in Nigeria, the objective of WAUG is to promote unity among students of West African universities and to enhance the development of sports in the sub-region.
This was the second time the University of Ghana had hosted the games after that of 1967.
The University of Lagos and Ife hosted the Games in 1971 and 1977 respectively, University of Liberia in 1973 and University of Cote d'Ivoire in 1981.
The University of Ouagadougou also had it in 1989 and 2003 while University of Benin and University of Calavi, Benin hosted it 1995 and 1999 respectively.
DAILY GUIDE SPORTS was reliably informed that the University of Ilorin, one of the seven second generation national universities established by the Federal Government of Nigeria in September 1975, will host the next WAUG which will be the 13th edition.
By Pierre Toto