-Gov. Ambode tired of giving prize money to East Africans
The Kenyan, Abraham Kiprotich, has emerged as the winner of the 2018 edition of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon
The Kenyan-born 32-year-old finished in 2:13:04hrs to emerge the winner on Saturday, carting away the grand prize of $50,000
PUNCH reported that, Abraham’s time in the third edition of the race set a new Lagos Marathon record, three minutes better than the record set by his fellow compatriot, Abraham Kiptum in the second edition of tourney held last year.
Kenyan duo of Ronny Kipkoech Kiboss and Benjamin Bitok came second and third finishing in 2:13:23hrs and 2:13:29hrs, winning $40,000 and $30,000 respectively.
In the female category, it was a clean sweep by Ethiopia as the trio of Alemenesh Herpha Guta, Tigst Girma Getayechew and Ayelu Abebe Hordofa came first, second and third to win $50,000, $40,000 and $30,000 respectively.
Iliya Pam was the first Nigerian to finish the 42km race in 2:40:19hrs to win N3m; while Sharubutu Philbus came second in 2:54:16hrs to win N2m and Kefas Williams also got on the medals table finishing third in a time of 2:58:1hrs to win the third prize of N1m.
There were also prizes for Nigerians in the newly introduced 10km race, which saw Sajo Ismaila (male) and Ona Salay (female) drive home a brand new saloon car each and other mouth-watering prizes.
The 42km race started at the National Stadium, Surulere by 6:30 am and ended at the Eko Atlantic City in Victoria Island, while the 10km race also began from Osborne and terminated also at the Eko Atlantic City with over 100,000 athletes battling for the various prize monies.
Meanwhile, the Governor of Lagos State, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode during the annual event unfolded plans to invest in training of Nigerian athletes to compete with elite athletes all over the world for the grand prize of the annual Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, saying that he is tired of giving the award to East African countries.
“My promise to Nigeria is this; I’m tired of giving this award to the East Africans and so Lagos State is going to commit professional coaches and then we will go to Jos and then come back in two years’ time to give them (East Africans) fight for their money,” the Governor said.
The Governor while commending all the athletes and organizers for the successful hosting of the third edition of the tournament, assured that efforts would be made to make the fourth edition which will take place on February 9, 2019 bigger and better.
“We have done Lagos proud again and we have done Nigeria proud again. This is the third edition and we are getting bigger, we are getting finer and this is what this is all about. We have had over a hundred thousand participants and we have broken all the records of last year and we are very excited about this.
“Yes, this is the bronze level; the intention is to take it to the gold level in the next two years and I know we can do it. This is more about the energy of Lagos. Beyond the fact that we are able to show the aesthetics and the improvement we have done in the last two and a half years, Lagos is getting better and then Lagos is getting more enjoyable.
“I know we are going to do this again next year and so come Saturday 9th February, 2019, we are going to have a bigger marathon and bigger prizes,” Governor Ambode said.