There was a changing of the guard in the men’s category of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon as a new winner emerged in the person of Abraham Kiprotich, who clocked the fastest time in the history of the competition, returning a time of 2:13.02 to snatch the win in the 2018 edition of the marathon.
The time set by Kenyan-born Kiprotich who now competes for France, bettered Abraham Kiptum’s winning times of 2:16.19 and 2:15.23 run in the 2016 and 2017 editions of the competition respectively.
Kiprotich who has competed in events like the London 2012 Olympics, was without doubt the biggest name in the lineup, and was followed by the Kenyan duo of Kibos Ronny (2:13.24) and Bitok Benjamin (2:13.27). His feat earned him the star prize of $50,000 while the 2nd and 3rd place winners got $40,000 and $30,000 respectively.
The Ethiopians made a clean sweep of medals in the women’s event as Herpa Guta set the pace for her compatriots, storming to a time of 2:38.23 to finish ahead of Girma Getachew (2:38.34) and Hordofu (2:38.39).
Iliya Pam from Plateau State retained his position from 2017 as the fastest Nigerian in the field, upstaging 2016 winner Filibus Sharubutu to defend his title with a time of 2:40.16, as the latter returned a time of 2:54.07 to finish 2nd. William Kefas settled for 3rd in 2:58.16.
Speaking with journalists afterwards, Pam who won N3million for his efforts, said: “I am happy that I was able to defend my title and the weather was also very conducive. This race is very important in my preparation for the Commonwealth Games Trials I also ran a Personal Best and dropped almost three minutes. I felt relaxed and comfortable all through the race.”
National Champion in the women’s 5000m/10,0000m Deborah Pam finally secured her first victory at the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon as she crossed the line in 2:59.03 to dethrone 2017 Champion Fadekemi Olude who was beaten to 2nd position in 3:01.24. 2016 Champion Olamide Oluwaseun was 3rd in 3:16.14.
Pam revealed that she wasn’t expecting the victory as she had not been in form for some time: “I am happy and excited about winning this race among the Nigerian athletes. I am really grateful to God because I didn’t even think I was going to be among the Top 3 as I had been down with injury for some time.
“I want to beat some of the foreign athletes by this time next year but I want to appeal to the government to help by supporting our efforts. For now, my next target is to make the Nigerian team to the Commonwealth Games”, she said.
To encourage the efforts of the first Nigerian male and female athletes who incidentally both have Pam as their surnames, Minister of Youth and Sports Solomon Dalung who was at the event, pledged a sum of N600,000 to augment Deborah Pam’s prize of N3million, and N400,000 to Iliya Pam. Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) President Ibrahim Gusau also donated the sum of N50,000 to Deborah.
Meanwhile Ismaila Sadjo was declared winner in the men’s category of the 10km race where he clocked a time of 30:56.01 to cross the line ahead of Stephen Daylop (31.42.22) and Gokum Luka Girka (31:50.50).
Rose Akusho was the woman to beat in the event as she finished ahead of the rest of the field with a time of 36:17.68. Faustina oguh and Onan Sale were 2nd and 3rd respectively with 37:28.92 and 39:09.82.