Ismaeel Sadjo from Cross River state has emerged champion of the Bigi Abeokuta 10 kilometre race (Men category) to claim the two thousand dollars prize money.
The race started at the popular Ake Palace, and Sadjo got to the finish line at the MKO Abiola Stadium, Kuto, Abeokuta after thirty one minutes and three seconds (31.03)
In a race that featured 100 percent indigenous runners, Stephen Joshua from Plateau state finished second with a time of thirty one minutes and forty three seconds (31.43), while Emmanuel Gyang finished as the second runner up (32.05).
In the women version, Plateau State athletes took centre stage as three of their runners finished on the podium.
Rose Akusho took the top prize with a time of thirty six minutes and twenty nine seconds (36.29), she was closely followed by Vera Yahanna who got to the finish line after thirty seven minutes, five seconds (37.05), just as Patience Dalyop took the third Position with a time of (38.05).
The top three in the male and female category were presented with a cheque of two thousand dollars, one thousand five hundred dollars and one thousand dollars in that order.
The wheelchair race had Sefiu Ojeleye, Akanni Jelili and Shola Opaleke as the podium finishers respectively in the male category, while Olajumoke Olajide, Chika Enwerem and Nofisat Adefala emerged as the winner, first runner up and second runner up in that order in the female version.
Organizers of the Abeokuta 10 kilometre Race, Nilayo Sports Management Limited confirmed that the athletes will be credited in a record time of 48 hours.
Managing Director of NSML, Hon. Bukola Olopade at the end of the event appreciated the sponsors and the Ogun state government for the tremendous support, he added that their limitless contribution will continue to strengthen and empower the youth, and also give a facelift to the sports sector in the country.
.Olopade made it known that the decision to feature just indigenous athletes at this edition of the Abeokuta 10 kilometre race has already proven to be a success.
“Our decision to have a Home land race for the first time has yielded positively, and going forward, we will review this decision and if it will be best for the Abeokuta 10 kilometre race to remain as a race for Indigenes, so be it”.
“This wouldn’t have been possible without the support from our sponsors, Rite Foods, makers of the Bigi Brand, Access Bank, Suzuki, Coleman Wires and Cables, IBD Hotels and others, we sincerely appreciate everything you have committed into this project, one thing we will continue to assure you is the quality, value and a good mileage for your input”
“We also appreciate the Executive governor of Ogun State, Prince Dr. Dapo Abiodun, the enabling environment is unrivalled, we will not take this support for granted”.
“We are already looking forward to the next edition which we believe will be bigger and better, thank you everyone”.he said
At the end of the event, Legendary Fuji musician, Alhaji Sefiu Alao (Baba Oko) thrilled the audience at the MKO Abiola Stadium, rave of the moment, Alayo Melody singer (Global Legend of Orchestra) was also on hand to entertain the crowd.
Another top rated juju musician, Boye Best also created magic, while fast rising Abeokuta based hype man, Michael Fadiya (MOTM) infused energy to wrap up the epoch making event.
Chairman, House Committee on Sports, Federal House of Representatives, Hon. Olumide Osoba was present at the flag off of the race which had earlier received Royal Blessings from the Alake and Paramount ruler of Egbaland, Oba Michael Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo.
The Secretary to the Ogun State government, Mr. Tokunbo Talabi led the extremely powerful state government delegation which also had commissioner for youth and sports, Dr. Kehinde Oluwadare, his local government and chieftaincy affairs associate, Hon. Afolabi Afuape, special assistant to the governor on youth and sports, Lamide Lawal, special assistant on Job creation, Mr. Abiola Odetola and a host of others.
Captains of industry, prominent people from different walks of life were also in attendance