Kenyans sweep medals at 2017 Lagos Marathon
Kenya made a clean sweep of medals at the 2017 Lagos City Marathon in both the male and female categories.
Last year's winner, Abraham Kiptom, who came true to his promise, ran 2 hours 15 minutes 23 seconds (2:15:23) to retain the title. He goes home with 50,000 US Dollars.
His compatriot Ronny Kikoech crossed the finish line in 2 hours 15 minutes 25 seconds (2:15:25) to come second and win the 40,000 US Dollars prize money while another Kenyan Kiprotich Kiror goes home with 30,000 US Dollars placed third after finishing the race in 2 hours 15 minutes 30 seconds (2:15:30).
In the women category, Tanui Rodah won after posting a time of 2 hours 37 minutes 52 seconds (2:37:52). Her compatriot Fridah Lordepa ran 2 hours 38 minutes 22 seconds (2:38:22) to place second while another Kenyan Alice Timbilil finished in a time of 2 hours 39 minutes 02 seconds (2:39:02) to place third.
Rodah is now looking forward to her next action after conquering the Lagos marathon; she said 'I am going to China next May for another marathon. The Access Bank Lagos Marathon has given me the challenge to train more'.
'In Kenya we have high altitude and we usually train so hard, we have a lot of groups that we train together. Maybe we support each other as athletes as we train in the morning and also in the evening, but most importantly we are usually dedicated to our work that is why we usually achieve the best'.
Rodah said when asked by journalists what makes Kenya different from Nigeria in terms of Marathon.
She therefore advised Nigerian athletes to train and work hard to achieve success.
Last year's second finisher, Iliyasu Pam Mwanta powered past Philibus Shaburutu (2016 winner) to become the first Nigerian to reach the finish line, Emmanuel Gyang came a late third.
Mwanta who went home with a cash prize of 1,000,000 Naira could not hide his excitement said 'it is a wonderful performance but I will not stop there, I have to be the first overall'. I won the race with training and I gave my best'. He added that 'Gyang (third place finisher) is my running partner at home, we are from the same club. He helped me win this and I was expecting we will finish the race together'.
For Sharubutu; 'I am happy with the position I took because some people wanted to finish the race but they can't and I thank God for everything. I am happy I retained my time'.
Nigeria can beat East Africans if we are able to get sponsors like is seen in Kenya where clubs support athletes. We need encouragement'.
Sharubutu won 750,000 Naira while Gyang got 500,000 Naira.
Running her second full marathon, Olude Fadekemi became the first female Nigerian to cross the line.
Male and female wheelchair athletes were not left out as winners in both categories won cash prizes of 1,000,000, 750,000 and 500,000 Naira for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place finishers respectively.
Over 50,000 elite and fun runners featured in the second edition of the Acess Bank Lagos City Marathon including a seven year old girl, Damilola Oluwaseyi. She joined the race half way, left her sister behind and finished the race, in the process stealing the show.
Oluwayesi promised to partake in the next edition.
The 42km race took off at the National Stadium, Funsho Williams Avenue through the third mainland bridge, Ikoyi, Admiralty way, Lekki phase one, Ozumba Mbadiwe, Akin Adesola, Bishop Oluwole and finished at the Eko Atlantic city.
The Marathon is an International Athletics Association Federation (IAAF) sanctioned race.