50 Nigerian Athletes are in Contention for the Maiden Okpeke International Road Race.

Aminat Olowora
Aminat Olowora

Ahead of the Okpeke 10km International Road Race scheduled for May 4th, in Etsako- East Local Government Area Edo state, it has been confirmed Nigeria would feature no fewer than 50 athletes.
Yusuf Ali Monday, the Technical Coordinator for the maiden edition disclosed this to newsmen in Lagos that Nigeria will feature these athletes as a build- up programme aimed at developing upcoming athletes in long distance race.
“We want to develop our long distance runners because it is not our strong area but we are hopeful that with events like this, we will improve,” he said.
Ali, who won the 1990 Aukland, New Zealand Commonwealth Games in the long jump category, also informed newsmen that accommodation will be provided for the participant in Auchi and Benin City. He also disclosed that as part of preparations for a successful outing for the Nigerian athletes, a camp has been opened in Afuze where those athletes are presently undergoing training.
“The athletes have been in camp for some weeks now in Benin because we thought that would be the best place for them to camp and acclimatize,” Ali said.
Long distance runners like Aminat Olowora, discovered at the 18th National Sports Festival (NSF) in Lagos would feature at the event.
Among the international athletes who have indicated interest are Deriba Merga (Ethiopia), Tilahun Regassa (Ethiopia) and Sofia Shemsu (Ethiopia), Moses Masai (Kenya), Timothy Toroitich (Uganda).
Ali also disclosed that changes had been made to the prize money for the women runners, with the winner receiving $10,000. The second position will get $7,000 and the third place will receive $5,000.
The winner in the male category will get $25,000, the first runner- up $15,000 and the second runner- up $10,000. It won’t be a winner takes all situation as there are prizes for the fourth to the eight positions.

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