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Enugu ready for Coal City Half Marathon, says Udedi


All is set for the first Coal City International Half Marathon, which comes up on Saturday, the organisers have said.Addressing reporters on preparations for the 21-kilometre event, Enugu State Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Joseph Udedi said over 1,500 athletes from within and outside the state have registered for the half marathon that will take the athletes through some major streets in the metropolis.

He said 15 foreign athletes have also registered for the event, adding that Ethiopian Airlines, which is one of the co-sponsors of the event, would fly them into the country.

He said athletes, especially those in Enugu, have been mandated to undergo medical screening at Parklane Teaching Hospital Enugu to get their medical certificate, while those coming from outside should do their own medicals at only government recognized hospitals and come along with their medical certificates.

Udedi stated that the first prize of $3,500 dollars is up for grabs by both the male and female winners, adding that in support of the event, this month’s sanitation exercise has been put off and residents of Enugu metropolis and its environs are enjoined to come out en masse to cheer the athletes to victory. He also advised motorists and other road users to stay off the designated routes to avoid inconveniences or accidents for the athletes.

Udedi said the event was an opportunity to put Enugu State in the tourism map worldwide, adding that the partners, led by Mr. Odera Ogbodo, have pleaded with both individuals and corporate world to come forward and support the event.

Also speaking on the marathon, the state chairman of Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Obiukwu Mbonu and the Director, technical and coaching in the Enugu State Ministry of Youth and Sports, Ken Onuaguluchi said arrangement had been concluded with AFN for a technical team that would ensure standards in all aspects of the race, including the international electronic timing equipment.

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