Nigeria athletes hoping to be part of the third edition of the annual Okpekpe Road Race will have cause to smile as the organiser of the 10km Okpekpe Road Race have assured them of having some local races to prepare them for the competition.
Making this declaration was the coordinator of the event, Yusuf Alli, who said that some states have agreed to organise local race to help the Nigerian athletes.
Speaking ahead of the main race, Alli said two states have been confirmed to host road races before the Okpekpe competition in May.
“There is need to prepare our athletes well ahead of the competition so that they can compete favourably with their counterparts from other part of the world,” he said.
“We are looking forward to a Nigerian winning the race instead of foreigner that have been winning it from inception.
“The target is to have a Nigerian finishing within the top five starting from this year. That is why we are going to be having some road races prior the competition in May.
“We have Akwa Ibom already looking forward to having a road race between now and May; we will be having another one in Port Harcourt. Those are the ones I can confirm for now.”
Alli also revealed that the level of preparedness for the competition, stating that the prototype for the start and finishing line is ready.
The former long jumper said: “We already have the prototype of how the start line map and the finishing line will look like. Like I said before our ambition is to get the Gold Label, and we need to get the Silver Label first and we can only achieve that if we have a successful competition.
“We have contacted an expert in road race from Germany, Walter Mayer, to come and advice us more on the way forward. The target is for him to come and look at the place and advice us on how we can improve on what we have on ground currently.”