Nigeria: Kenyan, Ethiopian marathon runners stole the show at JAC Motors Abeokuta 10km Race
By Taiwo Adelu
London, Nov. 4, 2019 (AltAfrica) – Visiting African runners stole the show at the maiden JAC Motors Abeokuta 10km Race which was held on Saturday, 2 November, 2019 in Abeokuta, Ogun State, Southwest Nigeria.
The marathon race, which attracted thousands of athletes from Nigeria and other 18 African nations, turned a quite ancient city of Abeokuta into a beehive of activities.
The race, which started by 9am was witnessed by the Executive Governor of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun, top government officials, traditional rules in Egbaland, sports administrators and a host of others.
Biwott Kembo from Kenya won the men’s race with Rotich John from Ethiopia and Alemneh Tegene also from Ethiopia winning the second and third position respectively.
Nigerian Emmanuel Gyan was fourth overall, while he won the prize of N1 million as the first Nigeria to cross the finish line.
In the women’s category, Ethiopian Tadu Redbone Nare came first with Kenyans Cheptoeck Careen and Nancy Wangui came second and third respectively.
Fadekemi Olude from Nigeria was fifth overall and won the prize as the first Nigerian women to cross the finish line.
The prize monies of $5,000, $3,000 and $1,000 were given to the first three winners in the professional cadres in both the men and women’s category, while the Nigerian winners won the sum of N1 million, N500, 000 and N250, 000 in both the men and women’s race.
Governor Abiodun who presented prizes and medals to the elite athletes from the North African nations was glad that an international event was taking place in the state. He noted that the state is very unique in Nigeria in the areas of sports, religious, education, tourism and politics, adding that his administration knows important of sports and will leave nothing to chance to ensure that the state reclaim its lost glory in Nigerian sports.
Initiator of the race, Bukola Olopade of Nilayo Sports Marketing Company said that bringing an international race to his home town is one of the achievements he has in life. He applauded the support the organisers received from numerous sponsors which identified with the race.
The JAC Motors Abeokuta 10km race, sanctioned by the IAAF, was an event the locals came out in their numbers to participate because they were so excited that this was happening in their domains.
One of the participants was a 60-year-old Assistant Pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Ogun Province 6 Region 12, Shobande Jonathan Olugboyega with his daughter Favour Boluwatife. This was a father competing with his daughter.
“I have always been a marathoner since 1985 when I used to feature in the Milo’s 42.591km race,” Pastor Shonibare said.
“I competed in the 1985, ’86 and ’88 Milo marathon where I used to pick between 10th and 12th positions. I am not competing for money today, but I want to make a statement that old age doesn’t prevent anybody from running and it’s good to engage in sporting activities to exercise the body,” said Shonibare, a retired teacher of Asero High School in Abeokuta.