Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Again, Kenyans rule Access Bank Lagos City Marathon


tiamin rice

A Kenyan female marathoner, Alice Tambilili being helped by a medical official after finishing third at the second Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, yesterday. (Inset) Seven-year-old Damilola Oluwaseun competing in the marathon yesterday Photos: Femi Adebesin-Kuti

7-year-old Oluwaseun Completes 10km

As expected, Kenyan athletes ruled the second edition of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, yesterday, emerging tops in both the male and female categories.

Abraham Kiptum, who won the maiden edition last year, repeated the feat yesterday, by crossing the finish line in 2hrs 15:20 seconds, ahead of compatriots, Ronny Kipkoech Riboss, and Kiroi Kiprotic, who returned in 2hrs:15:25 seconds and 2hrs:15:28 seconds respectively.

Last year, Kiptum won the race in two hours, 16 minutes and 19 seconds. While Kiptum pocketed $50,000, Riboss and Kiprotic got $40,000 and $30,000 in that order.

Kiptum told The Guardian that it was a thing of joy to win a consecutive race in Nigeria, promising to return for next year for another victory. Three Kenyans also mounted the rostrum in the in the female’s category to claim their prizes. Rodah Tanui breasted the tape in 2hrs:37:50 seconds, while Fridah Lodepa, and Alice Tambilili returned in 2hrs:38:21secs and 2hrs:3902secs respectively.
The trio pocketed $50,000, $40,000 and $30,000.

The race, which attracted about 55,000 runners and 30 wheelchair athletes, started at the National Stadium, Surulere, in the early hours of the day and terminated at the Eko Atlantic City, in Victoria Island.

Iliya Pam was the first Nigerian male athlete to cross the finish line, ahead of Philibus Sharubutu, while Adekemi Olude, was the first Nigerian woman to cross the finish line.

One major attraction in yesterday’s race was the performance of a seven-year-old, Damilola Oluwaseun, who completed 10 of the 42 kilometre race. Oluwaseun,who joined the race at 32km at the end of Lekki Bridge, was applauded as she raced across the finish line.

She told The Guardian at the VIP area that she was excited to have ran 10km. “I feel happy that I was able to cover 10km. It was not easy but it was worth trying. I feel so good.”

Governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode, said the goal of the exercise is to see it occupy a prime place in the world’s marathon calendar. He announced that the next edition has been slated for February 10, 2018.

“This mind blowing attendance underscores our determination to occupy a prime place in the marathon calendar worldwide and ultimately to be among the top 10 marathon races in the world,” he said.

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