Organisers of the IAAF bronze label Okpekpe International 10km Road Race are confident of making another piece of history next year by getting a first ever IAAF silver label status for the race.
The Okpekpe race is the only IAAF bronze label race in Africa in 2016 and one of only two IAAF label races this year alongside the silver label Sanlam Cape Town Marathon in South Africa in September.
“We are confident the IAAF will grant us a silver label status for 2017,” begins the race’s Spokesman, Dare Esan.
“We have fulfilled all the requirements outlined by the IAAF for a label race. We had an international elite field from six countries as against the minimum of five for even a gold or silver label race; had a perfect anti-doping section completed with a doping station and all tests were conducted in accordance with the IAAF Anti-Doping Regulations. The doping samples have been sent for analysis by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) accredited laboratory as advised by the IAAF Medical and Anti-Doping Department.”
“The race was organised in accordance with the IAAF Competition Rules and that of our technical partner, the Athletic Federation of Nigeria, particularly with regard to the health and safety of participants and officials. The label race held independently of the celebrity and fun races as well as those for charity causes,” Esan added and explained that the race was organised with a silver label status in mind.
“That is why everything was different from what was on last year,” he said.
Meanwhile, organisers have hailed the people and government of Edo State and the Athletic Federation of Nigeria (AFN) for their roles in making the fourth edition of the race held last Saturday in Okpekpe near Auchi a huge success.
Chief Executive Officer of Pamodzi Sports Marketing, organisers of the race, Mike Itemuagbor, thanked the Edo State government under the leadership of Adams Oshiomhole for providing the enabling environment and the road for the race.
“Seven years ago we would not have even contemplated something like this but for our able governor who provided the hilly town of Okpekpe and its environs with a world-class road. We want to thank him very well for opening up the place. What we have been able to do is to put Okpekpe on top of the world map,’ said Itemuagbor who also thanked the AFN for providing the technical support needed.
“I also want to say a big thank you to all our sponsors who believe in our ability to organise a world-class sporting event as well as the non-government organisations who partnered us to create awareness about their various causes. I am happy the Okpekpe race has blazed the trail in the area of using international sporting events in Nigeria to propagate or create awareness about causes or illnesses,” concludes Itemuagbor.