8 nations confirmed for 5th Okpekpe road race
Elite athletes from eight countries will participate in the May 13, 5th Okpekpe international 10km road race in Okpekpe, Etsako East Local Government Area of Edo State.
The countries that have confirmed their participation according to Dare Esan, spokesman for the race are Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Tanzania, Morocco, Turkey, Burundi and the hosts Nigeria.
“We are delighted to announce that elite athletes from eight countries will participate in the IAAF Bronze label race scheduled for Saturday, May 13,’’ said Esan.
He noted that former Nigeria track and field international Yusuf Ali who is the top technical official of the race confirmed the number of countries based on the conclusion of the international elite athletes registration.
“This is in fulfilment of the IAAF conditions for a label race.The rules state that all label races, from gold to bronze must have a certain number of international elite field spread across four or five countries depending on the class of the label,’’ explained Esan.
He explained that the desire of the Okpekpe organisers were to move to the silver label rating by next year.
“Bronze Label races must have an international elite field with a minimum of five men and five women participating in the competition and a minimum of four different nationalities,’’ Esan said.
He added that the organisers of the race had fulfilled even conditions reserved for a gold label race.
“For example we have over 10 men and 10 women elite runners from eight countries participating in the race. For gold and silver labelled races, the international elite field must be a minimum of five men and five women participating in the competition and a minimum of at least five different nationalities,’’ he said.
“It is clear that we are already on the right track for a silver label rating come next year,’’ he said.
The Okpekpe international 10km road race is powered by Pamodzi Sports Marketing, leaders in sports marketing and hospitality business in Nigeria.
It is the first and only road race in Nigeria whose race course has been measured by an IAAF/AIMS accredited measurer and has been granted full membership of Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS). ##