The Main Organising Committee (MOC) for the 3rd Okpekpe 10km road race has begun the final countdown for the IAAF bronze label race scheduled to hold in Okpekpe near Auchi in Edo State on May 16.
Disclosing this to Extra Time, former Nigeria track and field international and two-time IAAF World Championships long jump finalist, Yusuf Alli, revealed that the MOC will converge in Benin today before leaving for Okpekpe.
“The final countdown is here and the MOC led by Dan Ngerem (former President of Athletics Federation of Nigeria, AFN) will meet in Benin on Friday before leaving for Okpekpe to physically inspect the race course as well as the security, accommodation and other arrangements that bother on the technical organisation of the race,” said Alli who also featured in the finals of the long jump event at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, USA.
“The MOC will also check on the media arrangements for the event. The race this year will be different from the first two editions because it is now an IAAF bronze label race. This means it is one of the 100 races the IAAF has designated as one of the leading road races around the world in 2015.
“This is a great honour to Nigeria and the MOC is determined to ensure it is organised in strict adherence to IAAF rules.
“We have successfully completed the first hurdle which bothers on the invitation of athletes classified under the international elite field.”
The guidelines for this requires at least four nations to be represented by runners with times faster than the IAAF’s guidelines.
“We have secured two of the three fastest runners in the world so far this year in Kenya’s Amos Kiplimo Mitei who holds the second fastest time (27:58) over the 10km distance so far this year and is one of only two athletes to have run inside 28 minutes this year as well as Ethiopia’s Dawi Fikadu whose 28.04 minutes return is the third fastest time this year,” said Alli.