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Abmayr, 11 elite runners arrive, as Dalung join cast




Eleven gold level elite runners are among the 20 international athletes, who arrived in Lagos yesterday for Saturday’s fourth Okpekpe International 10km Road Race in Okpekpe near Auchi, Edo State.

Also in town for the IAAF Bronze Label race is international elite athletes manager, Walter Abmayr, who is the race’s international elite athletes manager.

Spokesman for the race, Dare Esan, revealed that five out of the gold level elite runners are women while six are men.

“Our international elite athletes manager has confirmed 20 world class runners made up of nine women and 11 men for Saturday’s race. Out of the 20, 11 are gold level elite runners, eight are silver while only one bronze level elite runner has been confirmed for the race thereby raising the standard of the race from a bronze label one to gold in terms of the quality of the international elite field,” said Esan. He added that the athletes are spread across six African countries namely Kenya, Ethiopia, Morocco, Uganda, Tanzania and South Africa.

“We will have a very explosive race in Okpekpe this year and I won’t be surprised if a new course record is set. The men and women course records are held by Ethiopian duo of Teshome Mekonnen and Wude Ayalew, who ran 28:35 and 32:41 respectively at the second edition of the race,” said Esan.

A total of $92,000 in prize money will be paid to the top eight finishers in the men and women’s race with the winner in each gender category going home with $15,000, while $10,000 and $7,000 respectively will go to the second and third placed finishers.

“Athletes, who achieve world leading times will be eligible for a special bonus which will be revealed in due course,” he added.

Meanwhile, Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung, has registered for the road race.

The Minister submitted his registration form to the organisers of the race and will join Edo state Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, to race for fun.

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