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Oshiomole’s Wife Performs First Official Duty At Mountain Race
By Jefferson Ibiwale, Auchi
The newly wedded wife of the Edo State governor, Lara Forte Oshiomhole, performed her first official duty as First Lady on Saturday when she presented prizes to winners of the Okpekpe Mountain race.
The competition was the third edition of the IAAF Bronze Medal-categorized annual 10 – kilometre mountain race which held this year in Okpekpe, Etsako East local government area of Edo. state.
This year’s edition attracted 42 athletes from 15 countries.
In the keenly contested race, athletes from Kenya showed their supremacy in the long distance race as the two Kenyans at the race won two of the three positions for grab in the male category.
Three other positions in the female category were also won by the fleet footed Kenyans.
In the male category, Alex Oritiptip came first winning in the 29.20 minutes, Leish Gabrielselase of Ethiopia came second, while Amos Mutei of Kenya came third.
In the female category, Tanui Nkele of Kenya came first with a time record of 33:34, while Rino Ripo also of Kenya came second with a time of 33:52.
Mary Wasera made it a clean sweep for the Kenyans with a time of 34:31 to come third.
Winners in both categories went home with a cash prize of $25,000, $15,000 and $10,000 respectively.
In the local competition for athletes from Nigeria, Deborah Pam Baduny came first in the female category while in the male category, Emmanuel Gyang Gwon and Gideon Goyet emerged first and second.
There was also the VIP race segment where governor Adams Oshiomhole beat other competitors to come tops with a time span of 88 minutes.
Oshiomhole in a brief speech at the occasion said his administration’s investment in opening up rural communities through massive construction of modern roads in the rural areas had continued to yield positive results.
He expressed joy that the 10km race was now an internationally-recognized and accredited athletic event.
He noted that it had not only opened up the community to global recognition but also exposed it to speedy development
“I am excited that Okpekpe community is not only now on the world map but people from various parts of the world, from various countries from various continents are now participating actively in what has become known as the Okpekpe Annual 10Km race and we saw that this year we have more participants than previous years and by logic, we will expect that every year, more and more people will participate in it,” he stated.
He noted that the race was one practical way to remind Nigerians that there was life outside urban cities and that the ‘real Nigerians’ reside in rural communities.
He added that he was satisfied that part the objectives of the rural development policy had been achieved by the growing interest which the competition has continued to garner over the years.
Oshiomole urged corporate organizations to tap into the huge benefits of such competitions to sell their brands
While congratulating the winners of this year’s competition, the governor elicited laughter when he said his victory in the VIP race showed he was still as fit as a fiddle.
“I want to congratulate myself just as the winner congratulated himself because doing the 10km after all the activities of yesterday reassured me that I am still fit.”