Organisers of the Okpekpe International 10km Road Race have restated their readiness to organise a bigger and better event on Saturday, May 7 in Okpekpe in Edo State.
Race Director, Zakari Amodu, observed at the weekend that the first and only IAAF Bronze Label race in Nigeria will live up to its billing as one of the prestigious road races in the world.
“Everything is set for a good race,” begins Amodu.
“The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) have set requirements for us to follow as a bronze label event and I can tell you we have met all the requirements and have even moved several steps higher,” he continued. “What we are waiting for is just for the race day to be here so that we can put into practice all we have been doing in terms of keeping to the requirements.
“We have met the requirement concerning the number of elite athletes that must be present for a bronze label event. In fact, we have met the requirement for a gold label event which, considered alongside other requirements which we have also met will facilitate our upgrade into a silver label event,” he further said and revealed they have met other conditions like insurance cover for the athletes, the equality of the prize money, doping controls and other requirements outlined by the IAAF.
“The IAAF requested that we subscribe to a third party liability insurance policy to cover the risks for which the race organisation may be held liable, including any accident which might occur to athletes and officials and this we have done with Linkage Assurance.
“The international body also requested that prize money offered to competitors, including bonuses for times achieved shall be equal for all competitors regardless of their nationality or gender – in other words prize money for places should be equal for men and women and for nationals of the host country and athletes of other nationalities. This we have also done where the prize money for the first eight finishers are the same for men and women,” Amodu explained and added that drinking/sponging and refreshment stations will be adequately staffed by competent personnel and that water and refreshments shall be provided free of charge for all participants on the course and at the finish area.
“The whole course from Apana Road to Okpekpe will be closed to vehicular traffic, with the exclusion of official vehicles, for the duration of the event. The start will be traffic-free until the last runner has started and the finish will be traffic free until the last runner finishes.
On doping we have appointed one of Nigeria’s foremost sports medicine practitioners, Dr Akinwunmi Amao to be our chief anti-doping officer and everything needed to ensure a dope-free race have been provided,” said Amodu who explained that athletes are always scared when they know the man heading the anti-doping unit is a no-nonsense and honest.
“That’s what we have in Dr Amao. We have also provided a doping station at the finish area for the race. You can see that we are very ready for Saturday,” concludes Amodu.
The Okpekpe International 10km Road Race is organised by Pamodzi Sports Marketing, a leader in sports marketing, sponsorship, hospitality and rights acquisition business with operations in Nigeria.