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Nigerian runner seeks top-five finish at Lagos City Marathon

04 January 2017, 20:47

Lagos - The number one Nigerian female runner at the maiden edition of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, Oluwaseun Olamide has set a higher target for herself in the fast approaching 2017 edition.

Olamide who is now a celebrity, thanks to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode initiative of starting the Lagos Marathon, sponsored by Access Bank, was the first Nigerian female runner to cross the finishing line last year.

Her goal this time is not just to retain her status as the country's female number one runner but break into the overall top five athletes in the female category.

“I finished in 18th position overall last year but this time I want to be at least in the top 10 or even in the top five," the 19-year old stated.

Seen sweating it out at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos on Wednesday, Olamide said she is leaving nothing to chance even as she revealed that she began intensive training over a month ago in other to fulfill her mission at the 2017 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon.

“I have been preparing since last year December and I am confident it is going to good again in 2017, I have not run in any races in recent times because I am fully focused on the Lagos marathon,” she said.

Regardless of the star-studded cast of athletes expected across the world to feature in the 2017 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, the Nigeria Marathon Queen said she is undaunted but actually excited that she will be rubbing shoulders with the very best in the world.

Also read: Kiptum vows to retain Lagos City Marathon title under 2.10:00

“I have heard of the big names coming again for this year's race but I am not bothered, for me there is nothing special about the Kenyans or Ethiopians, once you believe in yourself and train as hard as they do then you can be sure to rub shoulders with them," Olamide submitted. 

While it was a big surprise for many to see the pint-sized Olamide going the whole mile at the 2016 Lagos Marathon, the fast rising marathoner said she hopes to spring more surprises in the 2017 race

"It was a big surprise to some people that I am an athlete due to my small stature, a bigger surprise when people realised that I am into long distance race but with my performances I have made them to understand that it is not just about bragging but training and your inner strength as an athlete.”

Many are keen to see how far the 'inner strength' in Olamide will take her this time at the 2017 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon.

News24 reported that organisers of the Lagos City Marathon are targeting 50 000 runners for the second edition.

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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- News24 Nigeria

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