The duo of Sadjo Ismael of Cross Rivers State and Rose Akusho of Plateau State have emerged the champions in the male and female category of the first edition of the Ikogosi 10 km race which took place on Saturday in Ekiti State.
Ismael finished in 30min 40 sec to confine Adamu Shehu Muazu from Plateau State, who clocked a time of 31min 21.09 sec to second place, while Osun State’s Oyebode Dada Sunday came third in a time of 31min 47.01sec.
Twenty-one year Akusho beat David Adiye from Ondo, who finished in a time of 36min 51.04 secs to second place while Onan Saleh also from Plateau State finished third in a time of 37min 30.09 secs.
The winners in both categories got N1 million, N500, 000 and N300, 000 for their efforts.
Speaking after the win, Ismael, a seasoned campaigner, expressed joy over his win and commended the organisers for putting the event together while expressing hope that the next edition will be better.
“I am always excited to be part of marathon races in the country. This is what I enjoy doing and I will always be happy to compete at any event and show what I can do.
“This race is a good one for me not only because I won a million naira but because the setting was also perfect for a good race.
“I will be happy to be part of the next edition and hopefully pick up the star prize again ,” stated Ismael who trains at the Obudu ranch.
For Akubo, who led the Plateau State contingent to fantastic display at the race, stated that winning the race would boost her profile as she hopes to continue with her good display.
Governor Kayode Fayemi, who presented cheques and medals to the winners, said the race is a platform for Ekiti State athletes and other runners in the country to showcase their talents.
While also commending Plateau State runners for claiming three of the six top prizes in both categories, the Governor congratulated all the winners and assured that the competition would be better next year.
The race, which had over 2000 athletes competing for honours, started from Aramako and ended in Ikogosi, the town famous for its warm spring.