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Osheku predicts new course record at Okpekpe Road Race


Okpekpe race. Photo/Twitter/EdoDigiComms

Former national 800m/1500m runner and foremost athletics coach, Anthony Osheku has predicted new course records at the seventh edition of the IAAF silver label Okpekpe International 10km Road Race, which holds next month in Okpekpe, Edo State.

Osheku, one of Nigeria’s top road race experts, believes the 2019 IAAF regulations and the decision of the organisers of the Okpekpe race to seek a gold label status for the event next year will make this year’s race the best in terms of the quality of its elite field of athletes.

“The 2019 IAAF regulations have made it compulsory for all label races to have a minimum of six men and six women from the pool of athletes whose status corresponds to the label being applied for. This will ensure that a Gold Label race, for example, has at least 12 of the world’s 300 best specialists at that particular distance,” began Osheku.

“What this means is that the seventh edition of the Okpekpe 10km road race will have at least 12 gold level running athletes in attendance, that is athletes who run 27,28 minutes consistently for men and 30,31 and 32 minutes for women.

“The last time we had athletes who ran under 29 minutes for men and 33 minutes for women was five years ago, precisely 2014 when the Ethiopian duo of Teshome Mekonnen and Wude Ayalew ran 28:35 and 32:41 respectively to set the current course records for men and women,” said Osheku, who hails from Fugar, a town near Okpekpe.

This year’s race will hold on May 25 in Okpekpe, Etsako East Council of Edo State.

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