DINKESA, DUNG SEEK OBUDU HISTORY, CASH TODAY
Ethiopia's Abebe Dinkesa and Nigeria's Janet Dung will be hoping for a slice of history this morning when the 7th Obudu international mountain race is flagged off by His Excellency,the executive governor of Cross River state,Senator Liyel Imoke at the prestigious and world acclaimed Obudu Ranch Resort in Obudu,Cross River state.
While Dinkesa,who set a then race course record of 41:45mins when he won his first Obudu title in 2008 and became a two-time winner last year will be hoping to become the first man to win the men's title three times since the race's inaugural edition in 2005,Dung will be aiming for a consecutive hat-trick of titles after winning in 2009 and 2010 as the best Nigerian woman at the prestigious one day world-accalimed event.A win for her on Monday will increase her total haul to four titles in seven editions.
Both athletes are among the over 215 that will line-up this morning in Obudu to challenge for the $50,000 top cash on offer for the individual winners.Also in the mix is Meselech Haileyesus,the women's defending champion as well as Cletus Eyo who detroned Danjuma Gyang as the best Nigerian man at the event.
Also in today's race will be the recently crowned European mountain running champion,Ahmet Arslan who will be seeking to become the first European man to win the men's title and the accompanying $50,000 top prize.
In the African nations mountain runni9ng championships which will hold alongside the main Obudu international mountain race,Uganda men will be fighting to retain the title they won last year when they supplanted the inaugural winner of the event,Ethiopia.
The Ugandans will be by the irrepressible Kibet James who placed 8th in the individual race won by USA's King Max,the Ugandans chalked up 119 points to place sixth in the men's team ranking and are clearly the favourites to retain the title they won last year.
The Ugandans will however have to spare some thoughts for Eritrea who have confirmed participation for the championships and who,only two years ago dominated the individual and the team events at the 26th World Mountain Running Championships in Kamnik,Slovenia.