This Day (Lagos)

20 November 2012

Nigeria: Champion Dinkesa, Admits Tough Obudu Race

Abebe Dinkesa has said that his historic win of the 8th Obudu International Mountain Race men's title last Saturday at the Obudu Ranch Resort is the most challenging of his three titles at the event.

The Ethiopian created history on Saturday when he became the first man to win the men's individual title three times.

"This is the toughest of the three Obudu races I have won," revealed Dinkesa shortly after the race. "The first kilometre was relatively flat. The toughest and most demanding part of the race was between two and eighth kilometres," Dinkesa recalled.

"Once I got past the 8km mark I was sure I could hold onto the lead ahead of the Kenyans and win the race," the Ethiopian noted on Saturday.

Kenyans MacDonald Ondara (1:02) and Robert Chemosin (1:03) followed ahead of Uganda's Phillip Kiplimo (1:04).

"I was not prepared for this new course when I came. I thought we would run more on the asphalted road like we used to do in past editions. Next year I will come better prepared," Dinkesa assured.

Cross River State Commissioner for Sports and Youth, Patrick Ugbe, in his assessment of the organisation of the just concluded 8th edition of the Obudu raced said that he was convinced that the state was ready to host the World Mountain Running Championships in 2014.

"I am delighted this year's race ended without any technical hitch. Virtually everybody connected with the race had grins of satisfaction on their cheeks after the race despite the fact that we dealt with new challenges this time around," said Ugbe.

He added that the new course and transportation arrangements were part of the requirements set out by the WMRA while granting the state the right to host its flagship event in two year's time.

"The LOC headed by William Archibong has proved it has the competence and the experience to organise the World Championships in 2014," he stressed.

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