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3rd Access Bank Lagos Marathon: Lagos will commit more resources to develop long distance races — Ambode; Kenya marathoners dominate race

Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode
Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State on Saturday said that the state would commit more resources to promote distance races in the country.
Ambode, who was speaking at the presentation of cash prizes to some of the winners of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, said the country’s athletes could win the major prizes soon.
“I am tired of giving the major prize money to athletes from other countries and because of this reason; Lagos State will commit more coaches and athletes to this course.
“We will take them to Jos and ensure that we up our preparation so that our athletes can also win it,’’ he said.
The governor added that the government would redouble its effort to ensure the race attained the IAAF Gold label in the next two years.
He said that the price money for the newly introduced 10km race would be increased to encourage more Nigerians to participate.
“Our goal is to ensure that this event attains the IAAF GOLD Label and all we have done in this edition is an attestation that we will get to that status very soon.
“There will be improvement in the prize money of the 10km race which is strictly for Nigerians,’’ he said.
NAN reports that Kenya-born French Abraham Kiprotich won with 2:15:04, while Ethiopia’s Herpha Guta, won the women edition of the competition, completing the race in 2:38mins.
NAN reports that over 100,000 participants took part in the race that offered 208,000 dollars.
The race which started at the National Stadium, Surulere, at exactly 6.30 a.m. ended at the Eko Atlantic City in Victoria Island.
Kenya marathoners once again dominate the 3rd Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, carting away the first three prices, but Gov. Ambode has promised to dislodge the elite runners from the medals table.
Kenya marathoners dominated the elite division of the race, winning the first, second and third prizes in both the male and female categories.
For the first position of the 42km in the male category race, Abraham Kiprotich won returning a time of 2:13:04, while his compatriot, Kiboss Ronny came second with the time of 2:13:26.
Victor Benjamin completed the Kenyan domination coming in the third position with the time of 2:13:29.
For the females, Ayelu Hordofa from Kenya emerged first with a time of 2:35:17, while compatriots Herma Guta came second with 2:38:25 and Girma Getachew third with 2:38:36.
In the indigenous category, Ilya Pam won for the second time running while his closet rival and 2016 maiden edition winner Sharabutu Philibus came second.
Williams Kefas, however, came third in the long distance race.
Speaking on the performance of the marathoners and the hosting activities put up by Lagos State, Ambode said that the epoch event could only get better.
“I am promising that we can only get better by enhancing the performance of our athletes.
“For the 10 Km race which is indigenous, we will try to increase the price money to encourage our athletes, they deserve more appreciation.
“Also, within two years, we will see how we can dislodge the Kenyan marathoners. We will employ international coaches that will train Lagos athletes in Jos.
“By this time next year, we will make them to sweat for the cash price which we hope to improve upon next year by God’s grace.
The winner of the men’s race, Kiprotich, said that consistency was his watch word while preparing for the marathon.
“I just make sure that I am consistent with my timing for the race that is the most important thing. Long distance race is about timing not your competitors.
“Once you are consistent with the time, then try to improve on it no matter what happens to other athletes, you are one step away from winning the race,’’ he said.
NAN reports that for the indigenous 10km race, Stephen Daniels came first with a brand new GAC car worth N7 million, Poku Luka came second, winning N1 million, while Joy Musa was third and got N750,000.
For the 10km female category, Rose Akuso emerged winner and got a star price of N7 million with other incentives.
Fostina Ogu came second with the cash price of N1 million, while Holland Saleh came third and got N750,000.

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