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Okpekpe race organizer hails Okowa’s election as African Athletics Regional President

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Organizer of the Okpekpe international 10km road race, the first World Athletics label road race in West Africa, has congratulated President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria, AFN, Tonobok Okowa on his election as President of African Athletics Region 2, West Africa on Saturday.

Okowa defeated Vierin DeGon of the Benin Republic at the second round of voting with nine votes to six to succeed another Nigerian, Shehu Ibrahim Gusau as President of the regional athletics body.

In a congratulatory message, Mike Itemuagbor, organizer of the Okpekpe road race says Okowa has been a huge success since he assumed the mantle of leadership at the AFN in June 2021 and members of the African Athletics Region 2 are not unaware of this.

‘I would like to congratulate my brother, Tonobok Okowa on being elected as the President of African Athletics Region 2. His wealth of knowledge in the field of sports governance and administration, acquired through time as a politician and a businessman means athletics in the sub-region is in capable hands in years to come,’ said Itemuagbor.

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The Okpekpe road race chief says Okowa has been a breath of fresh air since he assumed leadership of the AFN and he is in no doubt he will be a huge success as president of an African Athletics regional body.

‘During his less than two years at the helm of affairs as AFN President, Okowa has returned Nigeria to the podium at all major global and regional athletics competitions and has helped in the development of the sport at the grassroot level.

‘In his first outing at the delayed Tokyo Olympics in 2021, he ensured Nigeria returned to the podium in track and field after a 13 year wait. He also led Nigeria to an unprecedented haul of medals at the World U20 Athletics Championships in Kenya later that year.

‘Last year Nigeria returned to the podium at the World Indoor Championships after a 14 year wait and at the World Outdoor Championships in Oregon, USA recorded her best outing in the history of the event.

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‘Nigeria did not just come back with a first ever world title won by 100m hurdles runner, Tobi Amusan but also a first ever world outdoor record in the event.

Itemuagbor says he is looking forward to many years of fruitful collaborations with the AFN especially in the development of road running events which Okpekpe race has been at the forefront of and which has been acknowledged by World Athletics as the first world class road race to be organized in Nigeria.

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