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East Africans dominate Okpekpe road race

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Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole (middle); flanked on the right by Miss Nigeria, Leesi Peter-Vigoro, at the VIP starting point of the Okpekpe 10km race…yesterday. PHOTO: ALEMMA-OZIORUVA ALIU,

Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole (middle); flanked on the right by Miss Nigeria, Leesi Peter-Vigoro, at the VIP starting point of the Okpekpe 10km race…yesterday. PHOTO: ALEMMA-OZIORUVA ALIU,

Again, for the fourth year, athletes from Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Ethiopia, yesterday, showed their supremacy in long distance race as they dominated this year’s 10-kilometre Okpekpe International Mountain Race.

In the male category, Simon Cheprot from Kenya came first, finishing at 29:48 minutes; Ismael Jumagallet of Tanzania came second clocking 29:50 minutes while Timothy Toroitich of Uganda came third in 29:54 minutes.

In the female category, Paulline Wamjiku Njeru of Kenya came first finishing at 33:26 minutes, Ndiama Esther also from Kenya came second, finishing at 33:35 minutes and Buzunesh Gudata of Ethiopia finishing at 33:35 minutes.

The first winners went home with $15,000, while second prize winners got $10,000 and third prize went with $7,000.
“I am very very happy today, this is first time to come to run in Nigeria, but I have run in several competitions in Europe, USA and Canada. I am happy to be here and thank the organisers; if they invite me next year, I will still be here, to run inviting me here for the first time and winning is great for me.

In the Nigerian male category, Adamu Shehu Muazu came first at 32:36 mins, Stephen Joshua second at 32:37 mins and Emmanuel Gyang third at 32:39 mins. They also went home with N250, 000, N100, 000 and N80, 000 respectively.

In the female category, Deborah‎ Pam topped coming 38:16 minutes,  Sarah Olamide Oluwasuen (39:22mins) and Elizabeth Nuhu Bawa (39:32 mins).

Hundreds of participating athletes took off at the starting line at about 8:45 am, while Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, who led the VIP category, took of at the starting line 30 minutes later. Organisers at strategic points to refresh the athletes provided assorted fruits and bottle water.

In his speech, Governor Adams Oshiomhole, who also ran the‎ entire 10 kilometres with some other VIPs, thanked organisers of the event and members of the community for supporting‎ the event.

He said he hoped that in the nearest future, the race could be re-organised into a half marathon.

“I feel very fulfilled and am very excited that I am able to participate. ‎I have shown that I can do 10 kilometres. But this is the last time I will be here as a sitting governor. But God willing, I hope to participate in all future editions of Okpekpe Race, so long God gives me good health,” he said.


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