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New Winners To Emerge At 10th Okpekpe 10km Road Race Saturday

New Winners To Emerge At 10th Okpekpe 10km Road Race Saturday

New Winners are expected to emerge in the international elite race when the 10th edition of the Okpekpe International 10km Road Race holds on Saturday in Okpekpe, Edo state, South- South Nigeria following the absence of defending champions, Daniel Simiu Ebenyo of Kenya and Kazakhstan’s Caoline Chepkoech Kipkiriu.

Ebenyo set a new 28:28 course record in his debut in the race last year but will not be available this time around because of the Kenyan’s trials for the 10,000m event same day in far away Eugene, USA at the Prefontain Diamond League meeting.

In Ebenyo’s absence, country man, Edward Zakayo Pingua will lead the charge to not only win the title but also attempt to break the course record set last year.

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Pingua has broken 28 minutes this year and is in fact one of just 50 men worldwide to have done that and a repeat performance of the 27:49 he ran in January in Ibiza, Spain will make him the first man in Okpekpe race history to run a sub-28 minutes in the event.

Pingua will be challenged by Haftamu Gebreselassie of Ethiopia who has also broken 29 minutes in the event (27.48).

Meanwhile, top winners at the Okpekpe Race, men and women, can make a total of $22,000 each if they break the official course and African (World) records (subject to ratification under World Athletics rules).

This will be made up of the prize money of $15,000 and $2,000 for breaking the course record and $5,000 for breaking the African/World record.

Okpekpe Road Race, run over hills and tarred roads, starting from Apana Road and ending in Okpekpe town is the first road race in Nigeria to have its course measured by a World Athletics certified course measurer and the first to be granted a label status (bronze in 2015) by World Athletics.

This means Okpekpe Road Race is the first internationally recognised road running event in West Africa. It was upgraded to a silver level label status in 2018 before it moved to gold in 2023. It is thus the first gold label 10km race ever run on Nigerian soil.

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