By Ozioruva Aliu, Benin City
ETHIOPIANS, on Saturday, dominated the 8th Edition of the Okpekpe 10 kilometre road race as the duo of Jasim Haji and Dessie Adchiniau emerged winners in both male and female categories of the 2022 edition of the race.
In the male category, Ethiopian Jasim Haji finished with a time of 29.05 to come first, while Elvis Cheboi from Kenya ran 29.20 to come second and Ethiopian Derekek Mego came third in 29.30 minutes.
In the Female Category, Ethiopian Dessie Adchiniau ran 33.09 minutes to pick the top price, Dorcas Kimeli also from Ethiopia came second in 33.33 while Abigael Jelimo from Kenya ran 33.53 minutes to come third.
In the local category, Ismail Sanjo ran 31.12 minute to come first in the male category while Rose Atuche ran 36.40 minutes to come first in the female category.
The race also witnessed VIP category led by the Edo state deputy Governor Philip Shaibu, while a one time president of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Isa Aremu also joined dignitaries in the VIP category as he ran to draw awareness to welfare of workers.
Speaking with journalists, Shaibu noted that the state government is already using the Okpekpe road race as a pilot to domestic some sports in parts of the state.
According to him “this area, the topography is food for marathon race and so the area is in our map in camping and training of long distance runners.
“We will have Edo central for gymnastics and Edo south definitely for swimming.
“We are gradually domesticating and relocating sports to areas where they have comparative advantage and the people of that area can take advantage of opportunities those sport activities bring.”
On his part the President Athletics Federation of Nigeria, Mr Tonobork Okowa, said that AFN was happy that the race is back,
Also, Permanent Secretary Edo State Sports Commission, Mrs Sabina Chikere, said the next edition would be organised to bring in more locals for participation.