Comrade Philips Shaibu, the “digital” Deputy governor of Edo state says he is excited the Okpekpe international 10km road race has returned bigger and better.
The road race made a return to the World Athletics calendar this year after a two-year hiatus triggered by the global pandemic.
‘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,’ said Shaibu at the pre-race dinner.
The deputy governor was one of the runners at the event and completed the 10km race.
He was also decorated with a medal of honour by the Onwueweko of Okpekpe town, Peter Abalume.
‘I am happy with the organisation of the race and wants 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,’ said Shaibu.
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.