40 foreign athletes arrive for Abeokuta City Marathon
A total of 40 foreign athletes have arrived in Nigeria for the maiden Abeokuta City Marathon, organisers of the event confirmed yesterday.
The 10km race, which will see over 6,000 local athletes from different parts of the country competing for honours will hold tomorrow morning. The marathon race is being sponsored by JAC Motors and supported by the Ogun State government.
The Chief Executive Officer of Nilayo Sports Management Limited, Bukola Olopade, told The Guardian that 30 foreign athletes had already settled down in various hotels in Abeokuta, adding that ten others were being expected to arrive at the Murtala Mohammed airport in Lagos yesterday evening.
“We have about 30 foreign athletes already settled in their various hotels here, and as we speak, our officials are at the Murtala Mohammed airport in Lagos to receive the rest. In all, we will have 20 male and 20 female foreign athletes for this race,” he stated.
Olopade, a former sports commissioner in Ogun State, further hinted that the Abeokuta City Marathon would be a world-class event.
We didn’t expect such a large turnout of local athletes for this marathon, but we have the capacity to handle them. It is also good for the race because the more the number of athletes, the better for a marathon event.”
Though Olopade did not disclose the identity of the foreign athletes, The Guardian learned yesterday that the majority of them came are from Kenya, Ethiopia, and Uganda.
Project Coordinator, Seyi Johnson revealed yesterday that the route for the 10km race had been marked. “Our officials will take the athletes round the route tomorrow (today) for the purpose of familiarization. I can assure you that everything is going on well.”
According to Johnson, the Abeokuta City Marathon has received the blessing of the paramount ruler of Abeokuta, the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo. He is expected to witness the flag-off ceremony tomorrow.
Ogun State governor Dapo Abiodun, a sports enthusiast, will flag off the race.
Apart from the Abeokuta 10km Marathon, Nilayo Sports Management is also putting the machinery in place for the Remo Ultra-modern Race on December 7, while the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon holds in February 2020.
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