Kenyan-born Frenchman Abraham Kiprotich has won the 2018 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon 42km race.
Kiprotich completed the race which flag off in front of the National Stadium, Surulere in a time of 2:15:04, setting a new Lagos Marathon record. The result means the Kenyan born French athlete will pocket the sum of $50,000 star prize money.
Ronny Kipkoech Kiboss and Benjamin Bitok came second and third finishing in 2:13:23hrs and 2:13:29hrs, winning $40,000 and $30,000 respectively.
Meanwhile, Herpha Guta of Ethiopia emerged winner in the women’s category, crossing the finish line in the 42km race in 2hrs38mins.
Tigst Girma Getayechew and Ayelu Abebe Hordofa came second and third to win the same prize money with the men.
Nigeria’s Ilya Pam won the indigenous race in a time of 2hrs 27mins.
Pam who had been a force when it comes to distant running said he hopes to stage a better performance in the next edition of the race.
Speaking on his successs, Kiprotich said: “I have trained so hard for this prestigious event and am not disappointed at the time I crossed the line. It was a tough race as the participants proved that they were also prepared for the race.”
He commended the organizers for leaving no stone unturned in ensuring the event was successful.
The Marathon which aims to attain the prestigious IAAF gold label record had 165,000 athletes battling for various prizes in both the 42km event and the 10km family race.
Speaking after a successful campaign, the chief executive officer of NILAYO Sports Management Ltd, Bukola Olopade, whose marketing outfit is the official consultant to the event said he was proud of how the race was handled.
According to him “before the event we were at Dubai and Miami marathons and promised to stage a similar event. From what you have witnessed here, we can boldly say we have not failed on our promises.”
Commending the participants for the feat achieved at the event, the Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode did not hide his displeasure at Nigeria’s athletes’ inability to come first in the event which was on its third edition.
Speaking during the prize presentation, Ambode said “We’re at the Bronze level of marathons, but we want to get it to the Gold level, in the next two years.We’re tired of giving these trophies to the East Africans. We’ll be committing resources to training our Nigerian athletes so they can win the marathon.”
The Marathon which defied an early morning rain featured about 100,000 participants.