Former sprinter, Mercy Nku has hailed Cross River state governor, Senator Liyel Imoke for his continued sponsorship of the annual Obudu international mountain race now in its sixth edition this year.
Nku, the second African woman to run in the 100m finals at the IAAF World Championships in Athletics after Mary Onyali said from her base in Toronto, Canada over the weekend that Gov Imoke has, with his continued sponsorship of the event shown that he is a true lover of sports and youth development.
‘Our Governor has proved that he is not paying lip service to sports and youth development in the state. He has not only continued with the sponsorship of the Obudu international mountain race, he has also made it bigger with the introduction of the African mountain running championships for men last year and the proposed inclusion of the women’s version this November’, said Nku.
Nku, now a nursing student at a Canadian University also praised Governor Imoke for improving on the total prize money for the event and believes the world mountain running championships will forever be grateful to him for making mountain running popular in Africa.
‘Look at what happened at the world mountain running championships held early this month. Many African runners were at the event and the Africans actually dominated the event with Eritrea winning the men’s individual and team races. Now the Europeans who used to dominate the events are becoming jittery’, she added..
The Obudu Mountain Race covers a distance of 11 kilometres uphill, to an altitude of 1,575 metres above sea level, taking you to one of the finest destinations in the world, the Obudu Mountain Resort.
The Race is the highest paying Mountain Race in the world, with star prize of $50,000 for both men and women. The star prize for the African Nation’s Mountain Running Championship is $15,000 for both men and women teams.