Former Technical Director of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Brown Ebewele, has joined the technical crew of the IAAF Silver Label Okpekpe International 10km Road Race.
Ebewele, a veteran track and field administrator and former Nigeria champion in the decathlon will act as the Route and Participation Coordinator for the May 12, 2018 race in Okpekpe near Auchi in Edo State
“I am delighted to be an official member of the crew for the technical organisation of the sixth edition of the race in May,” observed a delighted Ebewele whose unofficial role in past editions of the race has helped in making the event the success story it has become today.
“I have always been a friend of the Okpekpe race family and as a bona-fide son of Edo State, it is my duty to see that the race continues to grow and its organisation is without hitches,” he said and revealed he has already started working, together with other technical officials including the race director on how to make this year’s race the benchmark edition for future races.
“Remember the Okpekpe race is the only IAAF Silver Label race in Africa this year and with it comes a greater responsibility in terms of its organisation both technically and administratively. With the label status it means the IAAF have implicit confidence in our organisational abilities and it is important we put all hands on deck to continue to prove that we don’t need to be supervised before organising a race of the Okpekpe magnitude,” said Ebewele who as technical director led Team Nigeria to a silver medal finish in the men’s 4x100m relay and six final placings at the 6th IAAF World Championships in Athens, Greece in 1997.
Spokesman for the race, Dare Esan, said yesterday that the appointment of Ebewele as the race route coordinator has come at the right time.
“The Okpekpe race has graduated from a Bronze to a Silver label race which means the IAAF will not give any margin for error in the technically organisation of the elite race. And with the plans we have for the race this year and the topography of the area, the need for a highly qualified person from Edo State becomes imperative. This is why we went for the no-nonsense Ebewele who does not believe in cutting corners and will always call a spade what it is.
“Above all, Ebewele is a winner. He was the man in-charge of technical matters as the AFN led Nigeria to win a first ever gold medal at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Paris, France in 1997 through the late Sunday Bada. It was also under his watch Chioma Ajunwa became the first Nigerian woman to win a field event medal (long jump silver) at the same championships,’ said Esan.