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Eyes On Kenyans, Ethiopians, As 3rd Okpekpe Race Holds

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Okpekpe International Road RaceThe much-talked about 3rd Okpekpe 10km Road Race in Edo State, will hold this morning, with attention of followers focused on Kenya and Ethiopian athletes to sweep top prizes.

Ethiopians and Kenyans had dominated the last two editions of the Road Race, but Morocco’s Aziz Lahbabi is hoping to halt the trend in the men’s contest.

Last year, he ran the fastest ever half marathon by a Moroccan athlete, when he won the Rome-Ostia race in 59:25, passing through the 10km checkpoint in a personal best of 28:05.

The Okpekpe 10km Road Race is the first in West Africa to earn an IAAF label. All the invited foreign athletes arrived the country two days ago.

From Auchi to the finish line in Okpekpe, the indigenes are in joyful mood, waiting for the race to begin. Those who spoke with The Guardian were full of praises for Governor Adams Oshiomhole and the organisers of the race for their foresight, which according to them has put the hilly Okpekpe in the world map.

Cameroun’s Foimi Justilin is among athletes that will challenge the East Africans in the race for the top prize this morning. There is also Morocco’s Lahbabi Aziz, who jetted into Lagos on Thursday.

The Meeting Director, Yusuf Alli, said yesterday the race course, which starts from Apama Road and ends in Okpekpe, would be closed to vehicular traffic this morning.


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