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10 Days To Go: Okpekpe Organisers Ready To Host World-Class Race

10 Days To Go:  Okpekpe Organisers Ready To Host World-Class Race

Organisers of the ninth edition of the Okpekpe International 10km Road Race say they are condemned to organise a bigger and better event with just 10 days left for the race to hold in Okpekpe, Etsako East Local Government Area of Edo State.

Race Director, Zakari Amodu says the first ever World Athletics Gold Label 10km race in Nigeria will, for the ninth time, live up to its billing as one of the most prestigious road races in the world.

“Everything is set for a good race next week Saturday and we are condemned to organise a bigger race because of the change in the label status of the race,” begins Amodu.

“We have covered all grounds necessary for a good race. We have gold-level running athletes already confirmed for the historic race. We have all the materials we wanted for effective doping control including a doping station at the finish area in Okpekpe.”

He continued: “We have met all the requirements to organise a gold label road race and have even moved several steps higher,”

“What we are waiting for is just for the race day to be here so that we can put into practice all we have been doing in terms of keeping to the World Athletics competition rules and requirements,” said Amodu.

The race Director says the security of athletes, officials and spectators in and around Okpekpe is assured.

“The Edo State government is on top of this as explained by the Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu two weeks ago at a pre-race press conference in Benin. We are also in discussion with the DSS, the Nigeria Police and the FRSC, ” Amodu assured.

“We paid a courtesy call on the Edo State Commissioner of Police, and as they and other security agencies have done in the last eight editions of the race, we have been assured of another hitch-free event come May 27.”

Amodu reveals that about 200 volunteers will be on duty before, during and after the race not just to help with its organisation but also to get practical experience in events management in their related fields.

“The volunteers will be drawn from Edo State University in Uzaire because we want the students to get practical knowledge in their areas of study as some of them have been chosen based on their course of study.

“Medical students, for example, will work with our medical department with a few deployed to the anti-doping arm of the race while Mass Communications students will be deployed to work as media volunteers.”

The Okpekpe international 10km road race is the first road race in Nigeria to be recognised as a world-class road running event by World Athletics by granting it a bronze label status.

This year’s race will serve as a qualifying event for athletes who may be seeking to run the 10,000m at World Athletics’ flagship event, the World Championships this August in Budapest, Hungary.

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