Kenyan trio of Alex Korio (2015 men's champion), Simon Cheprot (2016 men's champion) and Polline Wanjiku (2016 women's champion) will lead over 35 international elite athletes to Nigeria today ahead of Saturday's IAAF silver label Okpekpe International 10km Road Race which holds in Okpekpe in Etsako East Local Government Area of Edo State.
The trio will be coming in with their focus on making history as the first man and woman to win two Okpekpe titles since the inaugural edition of the race in 2013.
"The athletes will come in through the Murtala Mohammed International Airport Lagos and will be transported to Auchi where accommodation has been reserved for them. The athletes, together with their Nigerian counterparts will go on tour of the course on Friday in line with IAAF requirements,' revealed Mercy Etukudo, the race's head of secretariat.
She added that the athletes will get their registration done as soon as they arrive in Auchi and will be taken on a tour of the race course on Friday.
"This year's race will be explosive as we have assembled mostly 27 minutes runners for men and 31, 32 minutes runners for women. A new course record looks a cast iron certainty on Saturday," said Etukudo who predicted Ethiopia's Taye Grima, who holds the pre-race fastest time (28:07) could spoil Korio and Cheprot's bid for a slice of Okpekpe race history.
Meanwhile, final registration of all categories of athletes for the race will begin today.
"All registered athletes will be screened and accredited for the race which begins early Saturday morning in Okpekpe. They will be provided with their bib numbers as a sign of accreditation for the race," explained Etukudo.
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 that has been granted full membership of Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS) and recognised as one of the prestigious road races in the world and the only race with an IAAF silver label status in Africa this year.
The race will be live on Satellite (SuperSport) and terrestrial (Africa Independent Television, AIT).