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Olopade applauds Lagos State Govt as Access Bank Lagos City Marathon attains Gold Label status

The Managing Director of Nilayo Sports Marketing Limited, Honourable Bukola Olopade, has applauded the Executive Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwoolu, for the milestone and historic attainment of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon to a Gold Label status, the first of it’s kind in Africa, ahead of the next edition of the marathon on February 4, 2023.

Olopade, expressed his delight over the historic upgrade by the World Athletics, after the marathon met all requirements to be so upgraded, which he said had been made possible by the sports-loving governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwoolu.

“Without the Lagos State governor, this historic feat wouldn’t have been possible.
With this, the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon becomes the first full marathon in Africa to attain such height and the 25th in the world to do so.”

“With support of the Lagos State government, from our humble beginning on December 11, 2015, when the inaugural world press conference took place, won the World Athletics Bronze Label, in 2017, the third marathon to achieve this feat in the world after the second edition. The marathon won the Silver Label in 2019, after four editions, the first to achieve this in the world. “We won the World Athletics Elite Running Label in 2021.

Olopade stressed that, the Gold Label status, which categorises the best Elite races in the world, gives runners, fans, and the media, the world’s finest competitions. Signifies superior standards in safety and runner’s experience, was made possible by the commitment of the Lagos State government which never laid back in their overwhelming sponsorship of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon since inception.

Olopade disclosed that, the announcement was made by the World Athletics at it’s headquarters in Monaco, France after a submission for such upliftment was done in September 2022.

An elated Bukola Olopade, said in a press statement signed by the Director of Media, Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, Dapo Sotuminu, that, the World Athletics has finally granted the wishes of the biggest full marathon in Africa, after the race organisers, Nilayo Sports Management Limited, submitted an application for an Elite Label at the headquarters of WA in September 2022, ahead of the February 4, 2023 race in Lagos.

Olopade, said the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, immediately the application for a Gold Label was submitted by the organisers, Nilayo Sports Management Limited, had the confidence that the race will be upgraded to the highest marathon label in the world, as it met all criteria of such elevation because of the great commitments and dedications done so far, since the inception of the race in 2015.

Olopade, a former Commissioner of Sports in Ogun State, revealed that, there are just 25 Gold Label Marathons in the world. And the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon is the first to achieve this status in Africa, after just seven editions in Nigeria. Adding that: “The Access Bank Lagos City Marathon now has the same status with older and iconic marathons like Beijing, Zurich, Valencia, Istanbul, Singapore, Fukuoka, Ottawa, and others.

“This feat would not have been possible if the Access Bank PLC did not believe in us and supported us financially and otherwise, when this was just an idea on paper.

“With support of the Lagos State government, from our humble beginning on December 11, 2015, when the inaugural world press conference took place, won the World Athletics Bronze Label, in 2017, the third marathon to achieve this feat in the world after the second edition. The marathon won the Silver Label in 2019, after four editions, the first to achieve this in the world. “We won the World Athletics Elite Running Label in 2021.

“All the achievements mentioned above would definitely not have been possible without the support of Access Bank PLC.”

The General Manager, Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, Yusuf Ali, a former African record holder in the Long Jump, noted that, now that the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon has become the first Gold Label Marathon in Africa, the sustenance and prospect of moving to the Platinum Status takes a lot of dedication, planning, hard work, and perseverance.

“The retention of the Gold Label and upliftment to the Platinum Label takes a lot.

“If this happens eventually, the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon will then put the Lagos City Marathon on the same level with New York, Tokyo, Boston, London, and others.”

Ali, stressed that, it takes a lot of financial commitment, facilities, equipment, and manpower which he thinks Access Bank Plc possess to take the Lagos City Marathon to another level if there must be another forward movement to the Platinum Label status.

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