Cheprot, Korio, others arrive today as Okpekpe Race screening begins
Kenya’s Alex Korio (2015 men’s champion), Simon Cheprot (2016 men’s champion) and Polline Wanjiku (2016 women’s champion) will lead over 35 international elite athletes to Nigeria today ahead of Saturday’s IAAF silver label Okpekpe international 10km Road Race, which holds in Okpekpe, a hilly, rustic town in Etsako East Local Council of Edo State.
The trio will arrive with their focus on making history as the first man and woman to win two Okpekpe titles since the inaugural edition of the race in 2013. “The athletes will come in through the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos and will be transported to Auchi where accommodation has been reserved for them.
“The athletes, together with their Nigerian counterparts will go on tour of the course on Friday in line with IAAF requirements,” revealed Mercy Etukudo, the race’s head of secretariat, who added that the athletes would get their registration done as soon as they arrived in Auchi.
“This year’s race will be explosive as we have assembled mostly 27 minutes runners for men and 31, 32 minutes runners for women. A new course record looks a cast iron certainty on Saturday,” said Etukudo. She predicted that Ethiopia’s Taye Grima, who holds the pre-race fastest time (28:07) could spoil Korio and Cheprot’s bid for a slice of Okpekpe race history.
Meanwhile, final registration of all categories of athletes for the race will begin today. “All registered athletes will be screened and accredited for the race which begins early Saturday morning in Okpekpe. They will be provided with their bib numbers as a sign of accreditation for the race,” Etukudo explained.