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AFN coach wants camping for Nigerian athletes

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Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) Coach, Stephen Nuhu.

Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) Coach, Stephen Nuhu.

Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) Coach, Stephen Nuhu, has called on the organisers of the 10-km Okpekpe Road Race to come to help Nigerian athletes compete favourably with others by camping them ahead of the race slated for May 16 in Edo State.

Nuhu yesterday expressed concern at the dominance of the East African athletes in long distance races in Africa, especially the 10km Okpekpe Road Race, which comes up annually in Edo State.

“It is appalling to see Nigerian athletes lagging behind in long distance races due to funds constraints. We have athletes that can perform exceedingly well if giving all the enabling tools. I am sad that the East Africans cart away all the major cash prizes while Nigerian athletes settle for crumbs.

“We started training in Jos for the Okpekpe Road Race since two months ago, but I will be happy if the organisers can help our athletes by camping them ahead of the race. The athletes will perform better if they are camped together,” he stated.

Meanwhile, 18 athletes are expected to participate in this year’s edition of the race, with some of them expected at the Integrity Marathon Race slated for Sunday. The cash prizes for the Okpekpe Race are $25,000 (first prize), $15,000 (second prize) and $10,000 (third Prize) for men, while the women athletes would get prizes $15,000 (first Prize), $ 10,000(second Prize) and $8,000(third Prize).

Edo State indigenes would also benefit from special cash prizes earmarked for them, with the first in that category getting N100, 000 in the male category, while the first woman gets N75, 000.

The first runner up goes home with the sum of N75, 000 in the male category, while the second woman finisher will get N50, 000. The third placed man and woman will get N50, 000 and N25, 000 respectively.



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