The sixth IAAF silver label Okpekpe international 10km road race holds today near Auchi in Edo State.
World’s fastest woman over 10km so far this year (30:57), Sandrafelis Chebet Tuei of Kenya, will lead a world class team of elite athletes in the race for the coveted $20,000 USD first prize in the first ever IAAF silver label road race in West Africa.
Tuei will be running alongside her country women, Mary Munanu, who is the fourth fastest woman over the distnace this year courtesy the 31:34 she ran last January to come third in the Valencia 10km road race.
Also in the line up is Ehtiopia’s Amedework Walelegn, third best ranked man in the 10km race so far this year as well as 2016 men and women winners,Simon Cheprot of Kenya and Buzunesh Gudeta Getachew of Ethiopia respectively.
Josphat Kiprono Menjo, the man who holds the fourth fastest time in history of the 10km (27:04) and his Kenyan compatriot,Ronoh Timothy Kiplagat who has broken 28 minutes (27:52) over the distance this year will also be vying for honours in the historic race.
The athletes, together with their Nigerian counterparts, went on tour of the course on Friday in line with IAAF requirements,” revealed Mercy Etukudo, head of Okpekpe road race secretariat.
The Okpekpe international 10km road race is powered by Pamodzi Sports Marketing, leaders in sports marketing and hospitality business in Nigeria. It is the first and only road race in Nigeria that has been granted full membership of Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS) and recognised as one of the prestigious road races in the world and the only race with an IAAF silver label status in West Africa.
The race will be live on cable network, Supersport and on terrestial television AIT.
Etukudo told newsmen yesterday in Lagos that arrangements have been concluded with one of Nigeria’s best private television stations,Africa Independent Television (AIT) for a live telecast of the historic race on Saturday.
‘We are delighted AIT will also televise the race live on Saturday morning.The television station is one of the partners of the race and we are happy all Nigerians will now be able to see the race as it is going on in the rustic,hilly and beautiful town of Okpekpe,’said Etukudo.
AIT’s head of sports,Omofoma Ebare confirmed the agreement and said Nigerians will be able to see all the top African stars live on television as the race is going on.
‘Nigerians will see the best of the IAAF silver label Okpekpe international 10km race on Saturday as we will join Supersport to bring to Nigerians a live telecast of the race.They will have the opportunity of watching the race free of charge as it will be on terrestial television which means all homes with television sets can just tune to AIT as from 7am on Saturday to see the best of Nigeria in terms of ability to organise a world class event,’said Ebare.
Meanwhile organisers of the race has announced the programmes for the event.
Zack Amodu,the director of organisation of the race has revealed other events lined up for the first ever IAAF label race in West Africa.
“As part of our Corporate Social Responsibility we are going to be empowering the women from the host community.
“The empowerment programme which started on Monday will end on Friday and the presentation of skill tools will be presented to the participants on race day. It is going to involve selected women from the community.”