Assistant Director, Delta State Sports Commission, Aina James, says the state is confident of retaining the National Sports Festival title they won at the 2018 edition in Abuja.

The 20th edition of the festival, which has been postponed thrice, has been fixed for February 14 to 28 in Benin City, the Edo State capital.

Delta emerged winners of the 19th edition, amassing a total of 352 medals — 163 gold, 88 silver and 101– bronze to place first.

Rivers finished second with 69 gold, 58 silver and 57 bronze, while Edo finished third with 47 gold, 41 silver and 53 bronze.

Anegbe Akiotu, Chairman, Media and Communication Sub-committee of the Local Organising Committee, had stated that Edo was hosting to win, but James believes Team Delta will retain their title at the 14-day event in Benin City.

“Our aim is to retain the trophy we won in Abuja in 2018. There have been a lot of hitches due to the postponements of the festival, but our hope is that we want to surpass our 2018 medal haul, but if we can’t, we maintain the number,” James, head coach of Team Delta.

“We are already having our open camp and the moment we get the clarity that the event will continue as planned, then we’ll move to close camp. The athletes are ready and so are we.”