… as Shaibu, organisers assure of better event
Edo State Deputy Governor, Rt Hon Comrade Philip Shaibu has announced a date for the eighth edition of Okpekpe Race, saying that plans were on to institutionalize the 10 klm Silver label race.
According to him, a board of trustees is being put in place so that the race will out live this government and indeed, the organisers, Padmozu Sports. ” It will also become part of the Edo State Government’s annual sports calender, ” the Deputy Governor said.
Shaibu announced this at a press briefing Wednesday at the Government House, Benin to herald the competition which started 13 year ago in the rusty community of Okpekpe, Etsako East Local Government Area of Edo State.
Shaibu explained that the two years break in the Okpekpe Road Race was as a result of the Covid 19 pandemic that crippled commercial and sports activities across the globe, noting that the road race has come to stay.
”We are delighted to announce to you that the 10klm Okpekpe Road Race is coming back bigger and stronger in May 28, 2022 after the COVID-19 outbreak that claimed over 3m lives worldwide. The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic ensured that, like many other label races and sports across the globe, our event could not hold in 2020 and 2021″, Shaibu said.
On their part, Organizers of Okpekpe Road Race, and Chairman of Padmozi Sports, Mr Mike Itemuagbor and the Technical Consultant of the Road Race, Mr Zak Amodu stated that the race which has over the years attracted international recognition will be fully and better organized this year. They both thanked the Edo State Government led by His Excellency, Mr Godwin Obaseki and his Deputy, Rt Hon Comrade Philip Shaibu, snd other co-sponsors for their concern and support. They specifically singled outbreak the Nigeria Brewries for mention. He assured the public of
a bigger and more funded race this time around.
“Okpekpe Road Race is an annual event in Edo State, Nigeria. It is a 10 Kilometre Road Race over hills and tarred roads, starting from Apana Road and ending in Okpekpe town. The 2018 edition of the race featured participants from Kenya, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Uganda, Morocco, Israel, Bahrain, Morocco and Nigeria”.
Kenyan Kibet Alex won the men’s category of the 2018 edition of the race with a finishing time of 29 minutes 46 seconds. Simon Chepat was second with a finishing of 30 minutes 29 seconds and Ronoh Timothy placed third with a finishing time of 30 minutes 39 seconds. Yani Dera Dida won the female category.
Okpekpe Road Race is the first road race in Nigeria and West Africa to be granted a label by World Athletics body and designated as one of the leading road races around the world, but could not hold in 2020 and 2021 due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic which disrupted the international sporting calendar.
It is an international race that involves the invitation and participation of foreign athletes and their managers as well as the technical delegates from World Athletics body.