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Kenyans dominate 5th edition Okpekpe 10km

Okpekpe road race

AGENE GODWIN, Benin

Two Kenyans, Simon Cheprot and Polline Wanjiku Njeru have won this year’s Okpekpe 10 kilometre road race in the male and female categories.

The winners went home with $15,000 prize money each. Both finished in a record time of 29min: 48sec and 33min: 53sec respectively.

The silver medals went to Ismail Juma Ballet of Tanzania who finished in a record time of 29min: 50sec and Esther Ndiema of Kenya in 33min: 55sec with a prize money of $10,000 each.

While the third position was won by Timothy Toroitich of Uganda at 29min: 54sec; and Buzunesh Gutalshor of Ethiopia who finished in 33min: 58sec with a prize money of $7,000 each.

The yearly marathon which is the 5th in the series also had Nigerians participating in the local category as well as indigenous participation.

In Nigerian national category, Adamu Shehu, Stephen Joshua and Emmanuel Jiang, all from Plateau state came first, second and third in the male finishers and went home with the prize money of #250,000; #100,000; and #80,000 respectively.

In the Nigeria female finishers, Deborah Pam, Platuau state, Olamide Oluwaseun Serah (Ogun state) and Elizabeth Nuhu, Nasarawa state won the first, second and third positions and were given the prize money of #250,000; #100,000; and #80,000 in that order.

Meanwhile in the indigenous category for Okpekpe, the host community, Raphael James and Mary Enodube won the male and female category race and were given the prize money of #150,000 each.

In his speech, the chief host, Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo state congratulated the sponsors of the event and participants for a successful outing.

Oshiomhole also paid special tribute to the traditional ruler of Okpekpe, adding that one of the good things that have happened is that the event took place under his reign.

He also urged the organisers and sponsors of the event to improve on the prize money and if possible, introduce a half marathon race in addition to the full 10 kilometre race.

According to him, “Okpekpe marathon road race has come to stay”.

Oshiomhole who equally thanked security personnel for providing adequate security throughout the event, however, noted his mixed feeling about the event.

He said he feels very fulfilled and excited to participate in the event which had recorded the 5th series, but that this will be the last time he would be participating as a seating governor.

Also speaking, Chief Solomon Ogba, President, Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) described the marathon as an event that has brought international recognition to the once rural community because of the calibre of people involved and the rating by IAAF.

Ogba who thanked Oshiomhole for utilising the environment to give birth to the event, added that for the singular sense of introducing some innovations, which had made the marathon comparable to other global events, very soon, the governor would receive a letter from the IAAF, upgrading the Okpekpe marathon to a Silver level grade marathon.

About Global Patriot Staff

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