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Athletes’ large turnout for Abeokuta City Marathon thrills organisers


Marathon runners at a recent event in Nigeria. A large turnout of athletes are warming up for the Abeokuta marathon on Saturday

• It’s good for road race, says Seyi Johnson
• My people deserves the best—Olopade

Organisers of the maiden Abeokuta City Marathon are still battling to accommodate the over 6,000 athletes, who have stormed the city ahead of Saturday’s 10 Km race.

Athletes from various parts of the country will attend the event, which is being sponsored by JAC Motors and supported by Ogun State government.Project Coordinator, Seyi Johnson told The Guardian yesterday that the number of athletes already on ground for the race was amazing.

“From our registration portal, we had about 5,000 athletes, but as we speak, over 6,000 athletes are already on ground getting ready for the race. It is huge. But we are fully ready to accommodate all of them. The more athletes we have, the better for the road race,” he said.

However, Johnson revealed that for an athlete to participate in the marathon, he or she must provide a proof of medical certification. “This is a marathon race, and Nilayo Sports Management acts strictly in accordance with international rules governing road races.” 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.

According to Johnson, the Abeokuta City Marathon has received the blessing of the paramount ruler of Abeokuta, the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Michael Aremu Gbadebo, who promised to give the race his full support.Governor Dapo Abiodun, a sports enthusiast, will flag off the race.

Meanwhile, the Chief Executive Officer of Nilayo Sports Management Limited, Bukola Olopade, a former sports commissioner in Ogun State, says the Abeokuta City Marathon would be a world-class event. Olopade stated that he was happy that he has finally returned home. “This is like home coming for me,” Olopade told The Guardian. “Abeokuta is my home and it is amazing to see the inflow of athletes from all parts of the country coming for the Abeokuta race. This race carries the heritage and culture of the Egba people. I am grateful for the support we have received from both the government, traditional rulers and individuals so far. It will be a great carnival on Saturday, and I promise we won’t disappoint them,” he stated.

Olopade urged personnel at Nilayo Sports Management Limited to strive hard and organize the best Road Race on Saturday, saying, “I want every son and daughter of Ogun State to be happy at the end of the marathon race on Saturday. So, the onus is on every staff of Nilayo Sports Management to give the Abeokuta marathon the best it deserves.”


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Abeokuta City Marathon
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