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Admasu, Chelangat win Okpekpe Race as Dalung hails organisers


Bahrain Fikadu Admasu Dawit after winning the seventh edition of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) organised 10km Okpekpe Road Race held in Okpekpe town, Edo State.<br />

Fikadu Admasu Dawit from Bahrain, and Shella Chelangat from Kenya, yesterday, emerged winners in the male and female categories respectively of this year’s edition of the 10km Okpekpe Road Race, held in Okpekpe Town, Etsako East Local Council of Edo State in Edo State.

Dawit won the men’s race in a time of 29:03, while Berehanu Tsegu of Ethiopia came second in a time of 29:04, as John Kipsang Lotlang, from Kenya came third in a time of 29:17.

In the female category, Chelangat from Kenya triumphed over the rest in a time 33:14, while Tultoek Dorcas Jepchirchir, also from Kenyan was second with a 33:18, as Ethiopia’s Kasegn Alemtsehay Asefa finished in third place after completing the race in 33:31.


Speaking after his victory, Dawit said: “In 2016, I came in 9th; in 2018, I came in 2nd, and in 2019, I am the winner of the race. This year’s weather was not friendly at all, as the sun was really hot.”

Meanwhile, the Minister of Youths and Sports, Solomon Dalung, has called for more private sector participation in the organisation of the yearly race, noting that the event has immense potential to boost sports development in the country.

Dalung who gave the charge while speaking with journalists at the end of the race, held in Okpekpe Town, was among the VIP runners at the race. Others were Edo State Deputy Governor Philip Shaibu, Secretary to State Government, Osarodion Ogie, and other top government officials.

He hailed the state government for the sustaining the competition, noting that that this year’s edition showed improvement in terms of security, media and community mobilisation.

Dalung said sports growth across the globe is driven by private sector initiative, while “government plays a complementary role by providing for security, mobilisation, among others.”

He said, “The private sector should invest in the 10km road race as it is already a big business with high volume of trade and commercial potentials for private actors to take advantage of.”

Shaibu applauded the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) for upgrading the seventh edition of the road race to a gold-label competition, stressing that the edition was better in terms of organisation.

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