Lagos - The surprise winner of the 2016 edition of the Lagos
City Marathon, Kenya’s Abraham Kiptum, has vowed not only to retain the title
he won last year but promised to run a sub 2.10:00.
Compatriot Peter Kiplagat was favoured by athletics buffs to
win the first international marathon in Nigeria in 31 years but Kiptum
surprised bookmakers when he won in 2.16: 21.
“I want to retain my title and run a sub 2.10:00 on February
11, 2017. I came to Lagos as an underdog, nobody gave a chance, and people were
expecting Kiplaglat to win, so I ran without any pressure. I know I will be the
center of attraction on February 11, but am mentally and physically prepare for
the challenge, I know am in good shape to win and do it under 2.100,’’ said
Kiptum in a statement made available by the Communications and Media Department
of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon.
Kiptum also praised the Lagos crowd and the weather. “For a
city that does not have a marathon culture like we do in East Africa, I was
shocked at the people’s enthusiasm and support for the runners. They cheered us
so I am appealing to the Lagos crowd to please come out again in their
thousands and support us in February.”
“The weather was also agreeable, I was expecting it to be
very hot but it wasn’t, the weather was good.”
Also read: Lagos City Marathon: Organizers sign two pacemakers to achieve sub-2.10
Kiptum praised the Lagos State Government and the sponsor,
Access Bank, for putting Nigeria on the global marathon map again.
“I strongly believe that Nigeria can compete with the world
in marathons and road races if they invest in the talents they have. Remember,
about 30 years ago they had Abbass Muhammed who was doing 2.16:00 then. At the
last outing; there was Philip Sharabutu who ran 2:30:51 and some other young
runners who finished the race under 2.40:00. If these runners are supported
with the right coaches and they run regularly, they can catch up with the rest
of the world in five years,” said Kiptum.
that organisers of the Lagos City Marathon are targeting 50 000 runners for the
second edition which will be held on February 11, 2017.
Lagos State governor Akinwunmi Ambode, while addressing
journalist in a press conference ahead of the second edition, said the 2017
edition of the marathon is being planned to be bigger in all ramification.
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