Governor Liyel Imoke
Cross River State Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Patrick Ugbe, has expressed happiness over the WMRA decision to grant Nigeria nay Cross River State the right to host the world in 2014.
Ugbe, who has acted as the media chief for the annual Obudu international mountain race since its inception was among the bid committee that included the chairman of the Obudu Local Organising Committee, Sir William Archibong and AFN Secretary General, Maria Wophil.
He revealed how the bid presentation got the approval of 21 of the 33 countries in attendance.
''We did the presentation in both power-point and video talking about the state and what we are offering the world both in terms of the organisation of the race and the tourism potentials in the state.
“There was also a message from His Excellency, Governor Imoke both in video and in writing stating the commitment of the state and the nation to host the event in 2014.I think it was that aspect that totally convinced those who voted for us that we mean business,'' revealed Ugbe, who heaped plaudits on Imoke for making the dream turn into reality.
''Without the backing of His Excellency, we would not have succeeded. He was solidly behind the LOC in this project and he has been the unseen hand in the successes we recorded in the organisation of the annual Obudu international mountain race. He was also responsible for the coming on stream of the African mountain running championships which will mark its fourth edition this year,” said Ugbe
The Obudu Ranch Resort in Obudu, Cross River State was granted the right to host the 30th edition of the World Mountain Running Association (WMRA) championships in 2014.
Obudu won the bid at the weekend in Vallecamonica, Italy on the occasion of the 28th World Mountain Running Championships garnering 21 votes while eight countries voted against and four abstained from voting.
Obudu will thus host the 30th edition of the association's flagship event in 2014 to coincide with the 10th edition of the annual Obudu international mountain race and the sixth edition of the African Mountain Running championships.
Last year the Governor of Cross River State, Senator Liyel Imoke and the Local Organising Committee for the annual Obudu International Mountain Race as well as the Athletic Federation of Nigeria (AFN) officially announced their candidature to organise the 30th World Mountain Running Association in 2014.
WMRA President, Bruno Gozzellino had, a year earlier appealed to the Sir William Archibong-led LOC for Obudu mountain race and Gov Imoke to consider bidding for the 2014 WMRA Championships.