4,000 athletes for Ekiti marathon race
Victor Akinkuolie, Ado-Ekiti
No fewer than four thousand athletes from different parts of the country will be participating in the maiden edition of the Ikogosi 10km marathon race slated for 14, December 2019.
Speaking in Ado-Ekiti, during a press conference jointly addressed by the Commissioner for Youth and Sports, in the state, Mr. Mike Awopetu and his counterpart from the Information and Value Orientation, Mr. Muyiwa Olomilua, disclosed that the sporting event which would hold around Aramoko-Erinjiyan-ikogosi corridor was aimed towards promoting unity, advancing the economy and for social interaction as well as to develop tourism potential of the state.
On the suspicion that undue interference and discrimination could mar the selection process, Awopetu said transparency would be upheld because it remains the way to get the best athletes from Ekiti that would shake the world.
He said the programme was put together through the initiative of Governor Kayode Fayemi, to attract national and international athletes to the state.
Awopetu added that security will be deployed to monitor and protect the athletes, advising all interested participants to register free on www.ikogosimarathonrace.com website.
He solicited the support of the corporate bodies and the host communities for the success of the sport fiesta.
“Though, the race will be held in Ekiti, but we won’t give Ekiti indigenes preferential treatment, because that would amount to corruption in the sports sector. If a man from Kenya or Tanzania wins, so be it.
“But it will expose them to the opportunity of rubbing shoulders with the best athletes across the globe and this can market them.
The Consultant of the initiative, Mr. Segun Labiran, said no corruption will be allowed in the selection of the athletes, assuring that the process will be transparent .
“The best runner, both male and female categories will get a N1,000,000 cash prize, second will receive a sum of N500,000 while the third place will go home with N300,000”.
The General Manager, Ekiti State Sports Council, Mr. Deji Samo , said the sporting event will showcase Ekiti tourisn corridor to investors all over the globe.
“This is because athletes will come all over the world to see the warm springs . There was a time the fastest man and woman in Africa were from Ekiti ,but it has not happened for a long time and this is the time to return to that era”.