As many as eight countries will participate in next month’s fourth Okpekpe International 10km Road Race in Okpekpe, Edo State.
In a statement by the spokesman for the race, Dare Esan, Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Israel, Uganda, Morocco, Bahrain and of course Nigeria will participate in the IAAF Bronze label race scheduled to hold May 7.
“Our international elite athletes manager, Walter Abmayr, has confirmed the participation of athletes from seven countries abroad for the May 7, 2016 race,” Esan confirmed yesterday.
“This is in fulfillment of the IAAF conditions for a label race. The rules state that all label races, from gold to bronze must have a certain number of international elite field spread across four or five countries depending on the class of the label,” explains Esan who added that the desire of the Okpekpe organisers is to move to the silver label rating by next year.
“Bronze Label races must have an international elite field with a minimum of five men and five women participating in the competition and a minimum of four different nationalities must be represented,” Esan revealed.
For gold and silver labeled races, the international elite field is a minimum of five men and five women from at least five different nationalities.
This, according to Esan, could be, for example, elite men from three countries and elite women from two countries for mixed gender races which Okpekpe is.
“It is clear that we are already on the right track for a silver label rating come next year. From the list of confirmed athletes for the race, we have as many athletes from six different nationalities for the men and three for the women,” he said.
The Okpekpe international 10km road race is the only IAAF label road race in
West Africa and one of only two in Africa this year.
It is organised by Pamodzi Sports Marketing in conjunction with the Athletics Federation of Nigeria.