A seven-year-old German-Nigeria born girl, Lorelay Holzendorff, on Saturday took the shine off the other elite athletes when she came 7th with a time of 1:40mins at the second edition of the annual Owan Marathon race.
Holzendorff, a primary four student, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), that she had been training as a long distance runner since the age of three.
“I want to be a long distance athlete, and my ambition is to compete at the international long distance in future,” she said.
The elites race, which was dominated by athletes from outside Owan saw the winner of the first Edition, Gabriel Adewale finishing 3rd in the overall position with a time of one hour nine minutes.
NAN reports that this year’s edition was won by Edetanlen Moses with a time of 58 minutes 40 seconds, while Davidson Oluafi came second with a time of one hour two minutes.
Okosun Osamudiamen, who ran a time of one hour five minutes, came third position in the male category of the race.
Similarly, Kingsley Asede won the female category with a time of one hour six minutes, followed closely by Ikerede Peace, one hour 16 minutes and Fidelis Faith, one hour 19 minutes, to finish second and third respectively.
Chairman, Edo State Sports Commission, Mr Godwin Dudu-Orumen, who commended the organisers of the race, said the state government placed high premium on sports.
He said this was why the Samuel Ogbemudia stadium was being renovated while 20 other mini stadia were being built across the 18 Local Government Areas of the state to engage the youth in sporting activities.
The Chairman of Owan West Local Government, Mr Frank Ilaboya, said the council would collaborate with sport organisations who were ready to constructively engage the youth in sporting activities.
“The best way to curb social vices is through engagement, our priority as a council is youth empowerment and we will support anybody wiling to partner us in this direction,’’ he said.
Ilaboya, a seasoned sports writer, urged the athletes not to relent as they had just started a journey that would change their lives positively.
The main organiser of the annual 10km race, Christopher Ojo, promised that the 2020 edition would be better.