It was a carnival as the ancient city of Abeokuta hosted its greates athletics event ever, the JAC Abeokuta 10km Road Race on Saturday.
But expectedly, the East Africans took the top positions as they often do in most endurance races across the globe, especially in Africa.
Great thanks to the geography of their region which made the high altitude zone with low oxygen level a fertile area for long distance runners.
All the same, Nigerians featured prominently in final results of the Abeokuta race as no fewer than seven Nigerian men featured among the top 10.
Among such is the fourth placed Emmanuel Gyang who at a time of 31 minutes 16 seconds placed fourth and the best finisher among the hundreds of local runners.
His timing of 31 minutes 03 seconds becomes significant if it is considered that it was less than four minutes to that top placed Biwott Kemboi of Kenya.
Ethiopia’s Rotich John, with a time of 29 minutes 04 seconds came second while his compatrioit, Alemeh Tegen was third.
The road race and its attendant canival had the esteemed presence of the Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun as well as that of the paramount ruler of Egba land.
All the runners were winners of some sort as every finisher had a commemorative medal.
1st. Biwott Kemboi – Kenya – 28min 76 sec.
2nd. Rotich John – Ethiopia – 29min 04 sec.
3rd. Alemneh Tegene – Ethiopia – 30min 16sec.
4th. Emmanuel Gyang – Nigeria – 31min 03sec.
5th. Gideon Goyet – Nigeria – 31min 41sec.
6th. Adamu Mu’azu – Nigeria – 32min 06seconds.
7th. Ismail Sadjo – Nigeria – 32min 41 secs.
8th. Emmanuel Michael – Nigeria – 32min 59sec.
9th. Odelana James – Nigeria – 33min 03sec.
10th. Dare Eniola – Nigeria – 33min 15seconds.
1st. Tadu Redbone Nare – Ethiopia – 33min 43sec.
2nd. Cheptoeck Careen – Kenya – 34min 28sec.
3rd. Nancy Jesang – Kenya – 35min 19sec.
4th. Mary Wangui – Kenya – 37min 12sec.
5th. Fadekemi Olude – Nigeria – 37 mins 29sec.