By Johnbosco Agbakwuru, Calabar
The Ethopian Abebe Dinkesa, winner of the 2008 and 2010 Obudu International Mountain race has again emerged the winner of the 2012 edition of the 12.3 kilometers mountain race of earth and asphalt road in the male category with a cash prize of $50, 000.
Dinkesa finished the race in 1hr 58 secs unlike last year where the winner finished in 41 minutes, 50 seconds, although organizers of the race had changed the course and the kilometer from 11 km to 12.3 km.
His compatriot Etenesh Diaro Neda emerged the new track champion for the women‘s in the 8. 2 kilometres race also of earth and asphalt road. She returned in one hour 12 minutes to beat other women.
The second position for the male category went to Macdonald Ondara from Kenya who came 6th and 7th in the 2010 and 2011 editions respectively, he completed the race in one hour two minutes, while the third position was won by Robert Thomasen also from Kenya in one hour three minutes.
Ugandan Philip Kupkow and his fellow countryman, Martins Moses, came 4th and 5th.
Running behind Etenesh Diaro Neda in the women’s race which has never produced a two time winner since 2005, was Rita Jepto from Ethiopia who returned in one hour 13 minutes, the 2010 winner while Pacharia Kiproch came third and Wungari Muriki came 4th.
The first Nigerian male runner to brace the tape was Emmanuel Giang from Plateau State in one hour 11 minutes, closely followed by another athlete from the same state, Gideon Goye, one hour 12 minutes and Danjuma Giang, one hour 14 minutes.
On the female category, Deborah Pam also from Plateau state joined her compatriot to brace the tape first among the Nigerian female athletes followed by Deborah Dung and home girl, Jacenta Matu whose feat attracted loud ovation from the villages when she came third in the Nigerian position and 10th on the rung for the women’s race.