BY DAPO SOTUMINU
With just a matter of hours to the maiden edition of the JAC Motors Abeokuta 10km Road Race, the historic city of Abeokuta is already feeling the pulse of what Saturday November 2, 2019 would be like, when over 10,000 runners storm the streets of the city gunning for the champion’s prize monies.
The organizers of the race, Nilayo Sports management, earlier in the week flagged the activities for the first ever road race in Abeokuta with the Expo, designed to take of the business aspect of the event, especially as it was set aside for sponsors to showcase their products for the world to see.
The Expo has been on at the MKO Abiola International Stadium since Monday, October 28, 2019, to enable the sponsors enough time to market their products to the public.
The Managing Director of Nilayo Sports Management Company, Bukola Olopade, said Thursday afternoon in Abeokuta that, the technical committee headed by Olympian and former African record holder in the Long Jump, Yusuf Ali, have received over 40 entries from world class long distance runners from Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia, Ghana and other parts of Africa where marathon is predominant.
Despite closing the entries for international runners, we kept receiving interests from other world class athletes, but we had no option than to ask them to try their luck next year.
He said: “All the invited foreign athletes have been received into Nigeria through the visa on entry scheme. This helped us greatly, as we have all the foreign athletes that will make the Road race thick and possible achieve all set goals in terms of standard which would help us gain desired recognition among other international road races across the world.”
Olopade disclosed that, all aspects of the race that would make it a huge success have been tidied and the organizers are ready to stage a world class Road Race.
He stressed that, come Friday November 1, 2019, the organizers will lead the team of media representatives and some of the world class athletes to the Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, in his office at 6pm.
“The governor has been so supporting and without him, the race would not have been able to take place in Abeokuta.”
He added that, the visits to the state governor will be followed by a world press conference to herald the historic race, noting that, security, medical and logistics have been perfected not to give room for any error.