Kenyan athletes again showed their class in the long distance races as they swept away all the top prizes in both the male and female categories of this year’s Lotus Bank/Abeokuta 10 kilometer race
The race which took place on Saturday September 9, 2023 was flagged off by the Deputy Governor of Ogun State, Engr. Noimat Oyedele.
Immediately the race took off opposite the Palace of Alake of Egbaland, the East Africans left nobody in doubt about their ability to win the race as they dominated from the beginning to the finish line.
At the end of the race, Peter Mwaniki of Kenya won the race with a time of 28.14 sec while his fellow country men, Kipyeko Kennedy and Kibi Frederick returned a time of 29.29 secs and 30.21secs to win the second and third positions respectively.
In the women category, a Nigerian, Patience Dayop gave the Kenyans a run for their money by winning the third position with a time of 36.31 secs while the first and second positions went to Kenyans Shamila Kipsirir and Viola Sepkosgei who got to the finish point in a time of 32.22secs and 34.34 seconds respectively.
Also the first Nigerian man to cross the tape was Francis James in a time of 31.08 secs, followed by Stephen Joshua with a time of 31.30 secs and Emmanuel Gyang who ran 32.07 seconds.
While in the female category, Patience Dayop came first with a time of 36.31 secs while Deborah Pam and Abiye David ran 37.02 secs and 37.31 seconds to place second and third respectively.
Speaking on their victories, Peter Mwaniki and Shamila Kipsirir said they’re overwhelmed emerging winners which they ascribed to hard work and dedication, assuring that they will be around to defend their titles next year.
“We’re very happy to win this race because we really prepared for it. Although the weather was a little harsh but our hard work and dedication saw us through,”they said
Meanwhile, Chairman of Nilayo Sports Management Limited, Hon. Bukola Olopade has expressed happiness at the successful completion of the marathon noting that the fact that a Nigerian came third in the women race is a testimony that the country’s marathoners are catching up with the East Africans and only need more corporate support to become a force to be reckoned with in long distance races
“I’m particularly happy that we had a successful event. My thanks also goes to our title sponsors, Lotus Bank and Ogun State Government for believing in us.
” The fact that Nigerian, Patience Dayop came third in the women’s event is a testimony that we’re catching up with East Africans and with more corporate support, Nigerian athletes will soon be in a position to end their dominance of long distance races”, noted Olopade who also doubles as Chairman of the Local Organising Committee of the 2024 National Sports Festival to be hosted by Ogun State
Winners of the marathon in both men and women’s event went home with $ 5,000 while the first and second runners-up got $3,000 and $1,000.
Also the first Nigerian man and woman to get to the finish point went home with N1 Million with the first and second runners-up going home with N750,000 and N500,000 respectively.
The well attended marathon which was spiced up with music and dance attracted many important dignitaries with the Alake of Egbaland, His Royal Majesty, Oba Adedokun Ggbadebo who was also marking his 80th birthday, was the Royal Father of the Day.