In the past six editions of the Okpekpe 10km road race, the marathon has been dominated and won by athletes from either Kenya or Ethiopia, while Nigerian athletes have been left to pick up the crumbs at the end of each race.
The IAAF Silver Label Race has enjoyed good success in the years since its inception and Nigerian athletes are finally ready to pull a marathon upset when the race returns to Nigeria on Saturday in Okpekpe, Etsako East Local Government of Edo State.
Speaking to newsmen on Thursday, Emmanuel Gyan, a top long-distance runner, said he and his wife Deborah Pam, another top athlete, are ready for the race.
“I have been available for the race in the last six editions, this time around, I am ready to do better than I have been doing in the past,
“Although we are going to be competing with some of the best in the world, it will only make us better.
“It is not going to be easy, but we are ready and nothing will stop us from getting our dues as athletes in Nigeria.” — Emmanuel Gyan
On her part, Pam said she would not let her marriage get in the way of her dream to make a podium finish on Saturday.
Meanwhile, the organisers of the Okpekpe race have announced the arrival of all the athletes expected to compete in the race, along with a plan to embark on a tour of the course on Friday in line with IAAF requirements.
Featured image source: Punchng