Top athletes have signified their intention to arrive early for this year’s 10-kilometre Okpekpe Race holding in Edo State on May 16.
Extra Time investigation revealed that top international marathoners from Kenyan Ethiopia, Morocco and other parts of the world are planning to arrive early in the country in order to get acclimatised.
Over $75,000 price money has been earmarked for this year’s race by the organisers.
Coordinator of the annual Okpekpe 10km Road Race, Yusuf Alli, corroborated the story but quickly added that the international athletes will be arriving the country from May 14 ahead of the race scheduled for May 16.
“All the athletes penciled down for the race have confirmed their participation and will be coming in from May 14. We are going to intensify preparation immediately after the national election and I can confirm to you that the international athletes will be arriving from May 14,” he stated.
The former African long jumper confirmed that they have contacted the best marathoners across the globe for the Okpekpe mini marathon that has taken the world of athletics by storm.
“Because of our plans for the race, we have contacted some top long distance runners across the continent, while some others have also signified their interest to participate in the one day race,’ he said.
On the performance of some of the country’s athletes at the Splash FM Integrity Race in Ibadan, the 1990 Commonwealth Games gold medallist said it was a welcome development.
He however said the target of the organiser, Padmodzi, was to see in the nearest future a citizen of the Okpekpe community representing Nigeria at the Olympics in long distance races.