The biggest winner of the 2019 Okpekpe 10km International Road Race was not the man who breasted the tape first last Saturday but Kenyan
Simon Cheprot who finished outside prize money in the 15th position overall.
Cheprot’s kindness earned him $10,000 on a day he had failed to place in money winning zone of the seventh edition of the Okpekpe race.
The Kenyan who gave up after he was upstaged by most of the top runners from East Africa saw a co-competitor fell on the finish point and abandoned his own race to help that runner, who incidentally happened to be another Kenya, to regain consciousness before continuing the race to the finish line.
That single gesture of magnanimity was not lost on eminent personalities who stormed Okpekpe to be part of the road running fiesta.
First, brother of Capt. Hosa Okunbor, chairman of Wells Carlton Hotels and Apartment, partners of Okpekpe Race started the dollar rain on the 2016 champion.
Chairman of the All Progresses Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, also pledged $3000 to salute the courage of the Kenyan.
Deputy Governor of Edo State, Rt. Hon. Phillips Shaibu was also moved by that gesture to also pledge $5,000 to Cheprot to serve as inspiration to others to do good fellow human beings in challenging situations.
Fikadu Admasu Dawitt of Bahrain ensured at the weekend that no individual road runner wins a second title yet at the Okpekpe 10km International Road Race clocking 29:03 minutes to pick the top prize of the 2019 edition.
Fikadu, a former Ethiopian before switching to Bahrain beat Ethiopia’s Berehanu Tsegu (29:04) at the tape to clinch the top honour of the Okpekpe Race. John Kipsang Lotiang of Kenya (29:17) won the bronze.
In the women’s category, Kenya’s duo of Sheilat Chelanga (33:14) and Tuitoek Dorcas Jepchirchir (33:18) won the first and second positions respectively while Ethiopia’s Kasegn Alemtsehay Getachew settled for the silver.
In the Nigerian category, husband and wife road-runners from Plateau State, Emmanuel Gyang Gwon (31:42) and Deborah Pam Badung (38:13) finished first in both the male and female respectively.
Speaking at the prize presentation ceremony, Oshiomhole commended the Edo State government for sustaining the partnership which started from his era as governor of the state.
He praised organizers of the 10km road race for the good organization that has earned the competition a silver label rating from IAAF.