East Africans yesterday retained their dominance of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, carting away the star prizes in the male and female categories of $50,000 each.
Sintatehu Legese from Ethiopia won the star prize of $50, 000 in the male category finishing the race in 2 hours, 17 minutes and 28 seconds to beat defending champion, Joshua Kiprotich from Kenya who returned a time of 2 hours, 18 minutes and 16 seconds to emerge first runner up with a prize money of $40,000.
Kiprotich’s compatriot, William Yegon came third in the time of 2 hours, 19 minutes and four seconds, winning $30,000.
In the female category, it was a clean sweep for Ethiopia as the trio of Meseret Dinke, Alemenesh Herpha Guta and Kebena Chala finished first, second and third to win $50,000, $40,000 and $30,000 respectively. Gideon Goyet was the first Nigerian to cross the finishing line in 2 hours, 30 minutes to win N3million, beating last year’s champion, Iliya Pam to second place, with a prize money of N2million.
Speaking while presenting prizes to the winners, Lagos State governor, Akinwunmi Ambode said it was gratifying that the marathon was getting bigger and better yearly adding that the competition had come to stay.
“I want to say a big thank you to all Lagosians for tolerating us in the last four years because this is the fourth time we are doing this Lagos Access Marathon and it has been improving year in, year out. This year, we had 58 countries participating and over 100,000 athletes also taking part in this journey,” Ambode said.
While expressing optimism that the marathon would be sustained, Governor Ambode urged Lagosians to vote for all the candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the forthcoming general elections from the Presidency to National Assembly and at the State levels.
“I believe strongly that what we have started will be continued by the APC gubernatorial candidate, Jide Sanwo-Olu when he comes in and I believe strongly also that this will take the GDP of Lagos to greater heights.
Besides, Governor Ambode also used the occasion to donate N2.5million to an upcoming artiste, Johnson David who was called to perform on stage from the crowd by Nigerian hip-hop star, D Banj.
“We just want to say a big thank you to D Banj for the opportunity to bring out this kind of talent impromptu. I was just going to say D Banj should mentor him and in addition to that, my initial contribution is to give him N2.5million,” he said.
The high point of the event was various performances by a-list artistes including Teni, CDQ, Slim Case, Olamide and D Banj who equally seized the opportunity to commend Governor Ambode for initiating and implementing the platform of the marathon and for his achievements in office in the last three and half years.