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Kenya marathoners dominate 3rd Access Bank Lagos Marathon

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (3rd right); Minister of Youth and Sports, Barr. Solomon Dalung (2nd right); 3rd Prize winner, Bemjamin Bitok from Kenya (right); winner of the 2018 Lagos City Marathon, Kenyan born French athlete, Abraham Kiprotich (4th right); Group Managing Director, Access Bank, Mr. Herbert Wigwe (4th left); 2nd Prize winner, Ronny Kipkoech Kiboss (3rd left); President, Nigeria Stock Exchange, Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede (2nd left) and President, Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Hon. Ibrahim Gusau (left) during the 2018 Lagos City Marathon at the Eko Atlantic City, on Saturday

Kenya-born France’s Abraham Kiprotich on Saturday won the 3rdAccess Bank Lagos City Marathon as Kenyans and Ethiopians marathoners once again dominated the competition, carting away the first three prizes.

Kenya marathoners dominated the elite division of the race winning the first, second and third prices in  the male category. The Ethiopians were dominant in the female category.

For the first position of the 42km in the male category race, France’s Abraham Kiprotich, born as a Kenyan won with a time of 2:13:04, while his compatriot, Kiboss Ronny came second with the time of 2:13:26.

Victor Benjamin completed the Kenyan domination coming in the third position with the time of 2:13:29.

For the females, Ethiopia’s Herpha Guta won the race, while compatriots Girma Getachew was second and Ayelu Hordofa third.

In the indigenous category, Ilya Pam won for the second time running while his closet rival and 2016 maiden edition winner Sharabutu Philibus came second.

Williams Kefas, however, came third in the long distance race.

Speaking on the performance of the marathoners and the hosting activities put up by Lagos State, the state governor, Akinwunmi Ambode said that the epoch event could only get better.

“I am promising that we can only get better by enhancing the performance of our athletes.

“For the 10 Km race which is indigenous, we will try to increase the price money to encourage our athletes, they deserve more appreciation.

“Also, within two years, we will see how we can dislodge the Kenyan marathoners. We will employ international coaches that will train Lagos athletes in Jos.

“By this time next year, we will make them to sweat for the cash price which we hope to improve upon next year by God’s grace.

The winner of the men’s race, Kiprotich, said that consistency was his watch word while preparing for the marathon.

“I just make sure that I am consistent with my timing for the race that is the most important thing. Long distance race is about timing not your competitors.

“Once you are consistent with the time, then try to improve on it no matter what happens to other athletes, you are one step away from winning the race,’’ he said.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (3rd right), with Miss Damilola Oluwaseyi (3rd left) who completed 22km; Bimpe Oluwaseyi, who completed 10km (2nd right); wife of the Governor, Bolanle (2nd left); Deputy Governor, Dr. (Mrs) Oluranti Adebule (left) and Minister of Youth and Sports, Barr. Solomon Dalung (right) during the 2018 Lagos City Marathon at the Eko Atlantic City, on Saturday

For the indigenous 10km race, Stephen Daniels came first to win a brand new GAC car worth N7 million; Poku Luka came second, winning N1 million, while Joy Musa was third and got N750,000.

For the 10km female category, Rose Akuso emerged winner and got a star price of N7 million with other incentives.

Fostina Ogu came second with the cash price of N1 million, while Holland Saleh came third and got N750,000.

Over 100,000 runners participated in the 3rd Access Bank Lagos City Marathon that offered 208,000 dollars.