Pamodzi Sports Marketing, organisers of last Saturday's sixth IAAF silver label Okpekpe International 10km Road Race in Okpekpe near Auchi has commended Edo State government, sponsors and friends of the race who provided some financial support as well as other logistics towards the success of historic race.
The Chief Executive Officer of Pamodzi, Mike Itemuagbor, said Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki and the good people of the state, especially the indigenes of the host community, Okpekpe deserve praises for their contribution towards the success of the race in spite of the windy and torrential rain.
"I want to thank the governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki who once again demonstrated his government support for the race with his physical presence and that of his deputy, Comrade Phillip Shaibu as well as the presence of immediate past Governor of the state, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.
"It shows how highly they rate the race which has brought unquantifiable recognition to the state in particular and Nigeria in general," observed Itemuagbor as he also thanked corporate Nigerians who came in as sponsors and friends of the race.
"We are grateful for the support Ecobank Nigeria has given us since we became a bronze label race in 2015. In fact, this year the bank increased its financial support as its mobile app became the official Bank Service Platform for the race.
"Two of Nigeria's leading financial institutions, Access Bank and Development Bank also threw their financial weight behind the race as Friends of the race. We say thank you."
Itemuagbor also hailed award-winning STACO Insurance Plc who served as the official insurer of the only IAAF silver label road race in Nigeria nay West Africa.
"We also recognise the tremendous support we got from Nigeria's pioneer and largest brewing firm, Nigerian Breweries Plc. This showed how important and big the race is.
'We are particularly grateful to the men and women who worked as officials and volunteers and defied the heavy downpour to ensure the race was a success. We say a big thank you," concludes the Pamodzi chief executive.
Kenya's Alex Kibet won the men's race in 29:46 to become the fourth Kenyan winner of the race. His compatriots Simon Cheprot, the winner in Okpekpe in 2016, finished a distant second in 30:29 while Timothy Rono was third in 30:39.
For the women version, Ethiopia's Dera Dida ran 33:01, the second fastest winning time in the history of the race to be crowned champion.
Kenya's Sandrafelis Chebet Tuei was second in 33:33, one minute and 36 seconds shy of the PB she set earlier this year while her fellow Kenyan Diana Kipyokei Chemtai was third in 34:24.