Top Stars to Jet in for Okpekpe Race Thursday


World’s fastest woman over 10km so far this year at 30mins 57secs, Sandrafelis Chebet Tuei of Kenya will lead a world-class team of elite athletes into Nigeria on Thursday for the first ever IAAF silver label road race in West Africa, the Okpekpe International 10km Road Race scheduled to hold this Saturday in Okpekpe near Auchi in Edo State.

Head of Okpekpe Road Race Secretariat, Mercy Etukudo, announced the itinerary of the expected road-runners yesterday.

Tuei, a Kenyan will jet in with one of her country woman, Mary Munanu who is the fourth fastest woman over the distance this year courtesy the 31:34 she ran last January to finish third in the Valencia 10km road race.

Also expected to jet in on Thursday is Ethiopia’s Amedework Walelegn, third best ranked man in the 10km race so far this year as well as 2016 men and women winners, Simon Cheprot of Kenya and Buzunesh Gudeta Getachew of Ethiopia respectively.

Josphat Kiprono Menjo, the man who holds the fourth fastest time in history of the 10km (27:04) and his Kenyan compatriot, Ronoh Timothy Kiplagat who has broken 28 minutes (27:52) over the distance this year will also be on the plane to Nigeria for the historic race.

”The athletes will come in through the Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Lagos and will be transported to Auchi where accommodation has been reserved for them.

The athletes, together with their Nigerian counterparts will go on tour of the course on Friday in line with IAAF requirements,” Etukud further revealed.

The athletes will be accompanied from Lagos to Auchi via Benin by the Elite Athletes Manager of the race, Henry Amike, who is a former Nigeria 400m hurdles champion and reigning record holder at 48.50 seconds.

“The athletes will get their registration done as soon as they arrive in Auchi and will be taken on a tour of the race course on Friday.”

Meanwhile, final registration of all categories of athletes for the race will begin on Thursday May 10 and will close the next day at the Yak Hotel in Auchi.

“All registered athletes will be screened and accredited for the race which begins early Saturday morning in Okpekpe. They will be provided with their bib numbers as a sign of accreditation for the race,” she said.

The Okpekpe International 10km Road Race is powered by Pamodzi Sports Marketing, leaders in sports marketing and hospitality business in Nigeria.

It is the first and only road race in Nigeria that has been granted full membership of Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS) and recognised as one of the prestigious road races in the world and the only race with an IAAF silver label status in West Africa.