World Athletics, the international governing body for athletics has confirmed Saturday May 28, 2022 for the eighth edition of the silver label Okpekpe International 10km Road Race.
The race, the first road running event to be granted a label by World Athletics in West Africa was twice postponed in 2020 and 2021 following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in early 2020, but Mike Itemuagbor, Chief Executive Officer of Pamodzi Sports Marketing, organisers of the race, says the historic event will make a big, bang return in 2022.
“We have done all the documentations reguired and we are delighted that World Athletics has confirmed the date we set for the race,” said Itemuagbor whose race is also the first to be recognised by the Association of International Marathon and Distance Races (AIMS).
Itemuagbor is grateful to those who have been making enquiries about when the race will return.
“We are happy to tell them that the annual festival of road running the Okpekpe race has come to become is back,” he added and thanked the Edo State Government, particularly His Excellency, Governor Godwin Obaseki and his sportsman deputy Comrade Philip Shaibu for the support and the enabling environment they have provided for the race to attain the enviable heights it has reached and the many historic feats it has achieved.”
Apart from being the first road race in West Africa with a label rating and AIMS recognition, Okpekpe race has also opened the way for others in the sub-region, particularly in Nigeria to aspire for international recognition.
Itemuagbor assured the race will continue to be a reference point for road running in Nigeria and revealed all Covid-19 protocols will be observed when the race holds in Okpekpe town near Auchi in Etsako East Local Government in Edo state next year.
“We are already advanced in our preparations for the race and we shall organise a silver label race with all the trappings of a gold label event,” he said.