By Aderonke Ojediran
The eighth edition of the Okpekpe international 10-kilometre-road race will hold this May in Okpekpe, Edo, the organiser, Pamodzi Sports Marketing has announced.
Mike Itemuagbor, the Chief Executive Officer of Pamodzi made the announcement in a press statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Lagos.
Okpekpe 10-km race is the first road race in Nigeria, nay West Africa, to be granted a label by World Athletics.
It was designated as one of the leading road races around the world.
The race could not hold in 2020 and will not hold this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are happy to announce that the eighth edition of the silver-label Okpekpe international 10-kilometre-road race will hold in May 2022.
“The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic prevented our event, like many other label races across the globe, could not hold in 2020 and will not hold this year.
“This is an international race that involves the invitation and participation of foreign athletes and their managers as well as the technical delegates from World Athletics.
“The COVID-19 protocols, in terms of travel and other logistics, have to be enforced including the lockdown rules introduced by the Nigerian government.
“We are delighted about the rollout of vaccines which are a critical tool in the battle against COVID-19 that has claimed over 3.1 million lives worldwide,’’ Itumuagbor said.
He commended Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo and the race sponsors for their concern and support toward the return of the race.
“Our target is to make the race the first gold label road race in West Africa.
“The race made history in 2015 when it became the first road running event to be granted a bronze label.
“Two years later, it scored another first as the first silver label road race to hold anywhere in West Africa and our target still remains the gold.’’
NAN reports that no Nigerian athlete has won the race since its inception seven years ago. (NAN)