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Ethiopians in clean sweep of Okpekpe Road Race

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By Tony Ubani

Ethiopian duo of Luel Gebrasilasis and Azmera Gebru, on Saturday, emerged winners in the male and female categories, of the 2017 IAAF 10km Okpekpe bronze label race in Okpekpe, Edo State.

Gebrasilasis coasted home to victory in 29 minutes, 28 seconds, clinching the top prize of $15,000.

He was closely followed by his fellow compatriot, Dawit Fikadu, who came second at a time of 29 minutes, 34 seconds to receive the $10,000 prize money.

Another Ethiopian, Jemeli Bekeli, touched the finish line in 32 minutes, 22 seconds to win the third prize of $7,000.

The fastest Nigerian in the male category of the race was Plateau State-born Jigade Monday, who raced to the finish line in 31 minutes, 53 seconds. Monday was followed by   Emmanuel Gyang and Ismail Sajor, in the second and third positions, respectively.

In the fem ale category, Gebru, completed the race in 33   minutes, 59 seconds and was followed by Kenya’s Veronica Maina, who finished in 34 minutes, 19 seconds.

Timbili Jemeli, also from Kenya, took the third position after completing the race in 34 minutes, 39 seconds.

The fastest Nigerian female athlete in the race, Deborah Pam, finished in 38 minutes, 15 seconds and was followed by Elizabeth Nuhu from Nasarawa State in 38 minutes, 41 seconds, while Rose Ajusho came third in 38 minutes, 55 seconds.

The winner, first and second runners-up in the elite female category also received, $15,000, $10,000 and $7,000, respectively.

For the Nigerian male and female categories, the winners, first and second runners-up got N250,000, N100,000 and N80,000, respectively.

Governor Godwin Obaseki of Benin was full of praise for the organizers for putting up a world class organization while noting that the Okpekpe Road Race has come to stay in Edo.

Former Governor, Comrade Adams Oshomole who also completed the 10 km Road Race praised Gov Obaseki for his wisdom in retaining the Okpekpe race.

 

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