Edo State deputy governor, Comrade Philips Shaibu, says he is excited that the Okpekpe international 10km road race, after two years’ absence, has returned bigger and better.
The deputy governor, who was one of the runners at the event and completed the 10km race, stated this at the pre-race dinner.
‘I am delighted the Okpekpe race is back after a two-year absence. We are all aware of the Covid-19 pandemic that disrupted the economic and social life of the world and we were left with no choice but to postpone the event first in 2020 and also in 2021 because the health and safety of all participants is important to the organisers of the race and Edo state government,’ Shaibu said.
The former Bendel Insurance FC player who was decorated with a medal of honour by the Onwueweko of Okpekpe town, Peter Abalumesaid, lauded the organisation of the race and restated the commitment of the Edo State government toward continue support to the World Athletics recognised event.
“I’m happy with the organisation of the race and want to reassure you all that the Edo state government will continue to support the World Athletics recognised event. This is an elite label race and our target is to become the first elite platinum race in Africa,’ he said.
The Okpekpe international 10km road race is the first road running event to have its race course measured by a World Athletics certified measurer.
It is also the first road race in West Africa to get a label rating. It was granted a bronze label status in 2015 and upgraded to a silver label status in 2017 before the reclassification of the labels by World Athletics in 2021.
The race was then given an elite label status, the next step before an elite platinum label.