Vice President Namadi Sambo has declared open the 18th National Sports Festival tagged Eko 2012 at the Teslim Balogun stadium in Surulere, Lagos.

Vice President Sambo admonished the participating states to imbibe the spirit of fair play and unity for which the fiesta is known.

The event was different from the previous editions of the festival, as it explained the rich culture of Lagos state.

There was also fire display, eyo masquerade, contemporary dancers, royal dancers and calisthenics.

More than 8,000 athletes from 36 states including the federal capital territory will fight for medals at the biennial fiesta.

Meanwhile the Minister of Sports; Bolaji Abdullahi has challenged the participating athletes to embrace the spirit of friendship which is one of the objective of the National Sports Festival.

Mr. Abdullahi said lessons have been leant from the London Olympics and the talents discovered at the games will be groomed to discover more talents that will represent the country at the 2016 Olympics games in Brazil.

The games begin today with 14 events holding in different venues across the state.