Okpekpe - Top officials of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) expressed delight over the performance of Nigerian athletes at the maiden edition of the 10KM International Road Race at Okpekpe, Edo.
AFN President, Chief Solomon Ogba, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), shortly after the event, that he was impressed with the finishing positions of the nation’s athletes, describing it as a good improvement.
"I am happy that our athletes came seventh, which is not bad to me. We will just keep exposing them to competitions.
"They have really improved for them to have been able to ecure these positions," he said.
Navy Commodore Omatseye Nesiama, the Technical Director, AFN, said the performance was a welcome development.
Nesiama, however, added that the athletes would be worked on, to ensure that they mastered the techniques of long distance races.
"I believe that with adequate training, these athletes will move up the medals table in Africa," he said.
Moses Masai of Keny was the overall winner of the race in a time of 29:39s, Timothy Troitich of Uganda came second in 29:44s, while Yusuf Bitwott of Kenya finished in the third position in 29:50s.
In the women’s event, Rono Georgina of Kenya won in 33:01s, Deko Zemzem Ahmed of Ethiopia followed in 34:31s, while Sofia Shemsu, also of Ethiopia, came third in 36:11s.
Meanwhile, Nigeria’s best athlete in the race, Ismaila Sadjo, returned a time of 31:06s; while its second–place finisher, Adamu Muazu, coasted home in 32:02s.
Gideon Goyet, Nigeria’s third top athlete, covered the distance in 32:29s.
In the Nigerian women’s category, Deborah Pam returned a time of 37:34s, while Janet Dung, who finished in the second position coasted home in 38:24s.
Aminat Olowora, placed third in 39:05s. About 700 athletes participated in the event.