Saturday, February 6, 2016 10:39 am
Taiwo Adelu and Kazeem Ugbodaga
Abraham Kiptum of Kenya beat other top marathoners across the world to win the first Access Bank Lagos City Marathon Saturday at a time of 2 hours, 16 minutes, 21 seconds (2:16:21).
The first Nigerian male to cross the finish line was Philip Sharubutu from Nasarawa State with a time of 2:30:51. Sharubutu was not a new entrant in African marathon as he was at the 2013 edition of African Marathon Championship held in Burkina Faso where he came fourth.
Coming second at the finish line among Nigerian male marathoners was Eliya Pam with a time of 2:31:41, while Peter Maham was third with a time of 2:39:07.
The Kenyan, Kiptum with bib number 341, will pocket the sum of $50,000 for winning the tournament, while the Nigerian, Gyang from Plateau State, will be given the sum of N1 million for his effort.
Hosea Kipkeboi of Kenya came second with a time of 2:16:34 and Debebe Tolosa of Ethiopia came third with a time of 2:16:40.
Kiptum said he was excited to have beaten his compatriot, Peter Kiplagat and other top world marathoners.
He told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at Eko Atlantic City, the finish point of the event that he was happy he won the race with a time of 2:16:20.
Kiptum said people were expecting Kiplaglat to win, but that the weather also worked in his favour.
“The race was not bad, I am happy I won the race and surprised people who thought my compatriot will win,’’ he said.
NAN reports that Kiptum, a Gold labelled marathoner, did not surpass the time of 2:11:36 set before the Lagos City Marathon.
The first marathoner went home with 50,000 dollars, the second place winner carted home 40,000 dollars and third place 30,000 dollars.
Halima Hussein Kayo of Ethiopia emerged winner of the female category. She is going home with $50,000.
She returned a time of 2:38:36.
“I want to praise the organisers for a good job, I wish them the best,’’ Hussein told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) after she had been decorated on Saturday in Lagos.
“I am elated to win. I am happy to be in Nigeria for this competition, and I am happy to be the winner at the end. I wish to be back for another opportunity to defend my victory in another edition.’’
Alise Timbilil of Kenya came second with a time of 2:38:49, while Ethiopia’s Aberash Feyase returned 2:39:36 to come third overall.
Also, second place winner, Kenya’s Timbilil, went home with 40,000 dollars, while Ethiopia’s Feyase went home with 30,000 dollars.
No fewer than 20,000 athletes registered for the event but no fewer than 1, 500 were women.
Also Nigeria’s representative, Mary Akor, emerged the best female in the Nigerian women category, while 19-year-old Olamide Sarah, came second as Johana Dimutu came third overall.
Sarah told NAN that she was happy with her performance, saying she could have come first if not for her miscalculations during the race.
“I had the confidence of doing very well in the race.
“I felt bad for not coming first because I know I would have defeated the winner if not for some miscalculations on my part.
“However, I look forward to the next edition to correct the mistakes,’’ she said.
The Nigerian runners received N1 million, N750,000 and N500, 000 for coming first, second and third respectively
Dignitaries at the finishing line include the Governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode, Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen Tukur Buratai, Minister of Sports, Solomon Dalung, Hamad Kalkaba Malboum, a Cameroon national, current President of the Confederation of African Athletics (CAA).
He has been at the helm since 2003, when he replaced Lamine Diack who became President of the International Athletics Federation (IAAF). He led the delegation together with Solomon Ogba, President of Athletic federation of Nigeria and Fatma A. Awake, the Vice President of the Athletic federation of Kenya.
The race began at the National Stadium, Surulere Lagos at 7.10 a. m., with no fewer than
The race went through the Ikorodu road to link Oworonsoki, then passed through the Third Mainland Bridge and linked Victoria Island to the end point at Eko Atlantic City, a distance of 42 kilometres.
*Report updated. Emmanuel Gyang was not the first Nigerian to cross the finish line. We regret the headline error