10 April 2008

Cameroon: Athletes to Run U.S. Marathon

Buea — Four Cameroonian athletes from Milano Athletics Sports Academy, Kumbo, will on April 21 run in the 112th edition of the Boston Marathon billed for the City of Boston, Common Wealth of Massachusetts in the US.

Cameroonian athletes ready for showdown

The athletes, Januarius Bonkiyung, Immaculate Wirngo, Eric Mbacha and Foimi Justilin, all household names in Cameroon's athletics, will try their luck in the international scene amidst world professionals. They will fly Cameroon's' flag for the first time in history at the much-talked about Boston Marathon.

Cameroonian-born and Dallas-based Business Executive, Geoffrey Mbaku, who has been instrumental to these young athletes, paved the path for them to be part of the prestigious world event.

The athletes also have the blessings; moral and financial support of Augustine Edjoa, Minister of Sports and Physical Education, and Ange Sama, President of Cameroon's Athletics Federation.

According to Mbaku, the athletes and officials of Cameroon would touch- base the American soil particularly in Pennsylvania on April 15 where they will lodge and train with the help of the Himalayan Institute before going to Boston for the show.

Athletics experts hold the conviction that Boston is the mother of all marathons, where professionals go to showcase their talents and compete and it is the dream of world class marathoners.

Kenyans have dominated the Boston Marathon for so many years but they will face a tough challenge this year from Cameroonians who proved their worth in the 2007 qualifying Dallas race.

It should be recalled that during the Dallas race in April 2007, which is used as qualifying race for the Boston affair, Bonkiyung emerged champion with a record setting time.

The representatives from Cameroon have made their mark already at the national level in competitions like the Mount Cameroon Race of Hope, Njalla Quan Marathon and have been longing for international opportunities.

On April 21, the day of the race, the temperature in Boston could suddenly plunge to 20 degrees below zero, or it could be snowing wrote the Dallas based Business Executive.

The Cameroon delegation would have only six days to acclimatise since they are not used to such climates.

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