Obudu — Once again all the topmost prizes at the 8th edition of the Obudu international mountain race have been cleared by athletes from East Africa while Nigeria's best athlete in the race, Emmanuel Gyang from Plateau State came in the 7th position.
An Ethiopian, Abebe Dinkesa the 2008 and 2010 winner of clinched topmost prize of 50,000 dollars after clocking one hour 2minutes in a 12 kilometre mountain and bush path challenging race.
His compatriot, Etenesh Diaro Neda emerged the new track champion for the women's 8. 2 kilometres race. She smiled home with 50,000 dollars which was also the first place prize in the women's category.
A Kenyan, Macdonald Ondara who occupied the 6th position in 2010 and 7th position in 2011 editions came second in the 2012 men's race while the third position was taken by Robert Thomasen also from Kenya. TwoUgandans, Philip Kupkow and Martins Moses came 5th.
Running behind Etenesh Diaro Neda in the women's race which has never produced a two time winner since 2005, was Rita Jepto from Ethiopia, the 2010 winner while Pacharia Kiproch came third and Wungari Muriki came 4th in the mid morning race.
Emmanuel Giang was closely followed by another athlete from Plateau State, Gideon Goye and another Gyang, Danjuma Gyang came third.
The 4th position was taken by Robert Zankudan and Otiba Edwin and John Bulus settled for the 5th and 6th positions respectively.
Deborah Pam also from Plateau State joined her compatriot to brace the tape first among the Nigerian female athletes followed by Deborah Dung and home girl, Jacenta Matu who attracted loud ovation from the villagers when she came third in the Nigerian position and 10th on the rung for the women's race.
Dorcas Akawe came 4th.The last female runner to win a prize was Ivon Ngowaya from Cameroon who came twelfth in the race.
Interestingly, 47 year old Australian Ambassador to Nigeria, Ian Mcnoville who came 35th said he was happy he participated in the race and commended the organisers for the impressive organisation.
"I am not as well prepared for the race as the winners but in the last one year I have been keeping fit".