For this weekend’s Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, about 50 elite athletes who are part of the star-cast are to arrive the country tomorrow, ahead of the Saturday event.
The General Manager for the marathon race, Yusuf Alli revealed yesterday that most of the expected athletes will be coming from Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Bahrain, Cameroun and Rwanda.
Over 20,000 runners are expected to feature in the February 6 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon which is the first of its kind in over three decades, with about N92 million up for grabs for marathoners who can run from the Old Lagos (National Stadium, Surulere) to New Lagos (Eko Atlantic City), a distance of 42.195 kilometres.
Top on the list of the athletes expected in Lagos tomorrow are Josphat Kifanni Too of Kenya, who has a Personal Best Time of 2.08.23secs, Peter Kiplagat who won the 2015 Geneva Marathon is also expected from Kenya as well as his compatriot Sammy Kibet, winner of the 2011 Warsaw Marathon, Ethiopia’s Abebe Negewo, winner of the Rome 2012 Marthon is also expected.
Also, Abraham Kiptom, Amos Mitel, Simpson Pkanaan Limareng, Nelson Kirwa Rotich, Kipkemboi Hosea, Philip Kiplagat Biwott and Isaac Kipkeboi Kosgei. Two gold label athletes, Mehair Fesshaye and Ali Abdosh Muhammed, from Eritrea and Ethiopia respectively are part of the expected athletes.
Eight IAAF silver label men marathoners are also on the list, four of which are from Kenya, one from Morocco, two from Ethiopia and one from Eritrea. Three of the five IAAF bronze label marathoners are Kenyans, with one Cameroonian and the other from Bahrain. Of the seven women elite marathoners coming, four are from Kenya, two from Ethiopia and one from Uganda.
Yusuf Alli reports that the incoming athletes will drive straight to the Expo Centre for the marathon race at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Surulere, Lagos to collect their race bibs and numbers, where they will be warmly received by Chairman of Lagos State Sports Commission and head of the Organising Committee for the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, Deji Tinubu.
“We are expecting the bulk of our elite athletes on Thursday from their respective bases, they are all eager to be here for the Lagos City Marathon,” Alli stated.
The Lagos City Marathon organizers have also confirmed that as much as 150 Nigerian elites; mostly from Plateau State will also be arriving in Lagos on Thursday.
The Lagos State government who are co-organizers of the event has put all necessary measures in place to ensure that the event is safely conducted, devoid of injuries to all the participants.