Kenyan wins Lagos City Marathon, Ambode promises to make tournament best in the world

Access Bank Lagos City Marathon
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (left); Group Managing Director, Access Bank, Mr. Herbert Wigwe (right), jointly presenting a cheque of $50,000 to the winner of the Lagos City Marathon, Abraham Kipton, while 2nd prize winner, Hosea Kipkembe, and 3rd prize pinner, Debebe Toise, watch

Kenya’s Abraham Kipton Saturday emerged winner of the Lagos City Marathon 2016 ahead of his compatriot, Hosea Kipkembe.

Debebe Toise of Ethiopia came third.

Kipton breasted the tape at 2 hours 16minutes 19 seconds to win the grand prize of $50,000, while his compatriot, Kipkembe posted a time of 2 hours 16minutes 34 seconds and cart home the $40,000 prize.

Debebe Toise of Ethiopia finished third with a time of 2 hours 16 minutes 40 seconds and went home with $30,000.

In the female category, Halima Huseen Kayo of Ethiopia finished first 2 hours 38 minutes 32 seconds, while Alice Timbilil from Kenya came second in a time of 2 hours 38 minutes 49 seconds and Aberash Feyase from Ethiopia finished third in a time of 2 hours 39 minutes 9 seconds.

The first Nigerian male was Philip Sharabutu with a time of 2 hours 30 minutes 51 seconds, while Eliya Pam returned as the second Nigerian male athlete with a time of 2 hours 31 minutes 41 seconds and Peter Maham came third with a time of 2 hours 39 minutes 07 seconds.

The race began at the National Stadium Surulere Lagos at 7.10am with no fewer than 20,000 marathoners.

It went through Ikorodu Road to link Oworonsoki and pass through the Third Mainland Bridge linking the Victoria Island and ended at the Eko Atlantic Beach.

Speaking after his victory in the race, Kipton said he was excited to have defeated his compatriot, Peter Kiplagat, and other top world marathoners.

Kipton said people were expecting the more popular Kiplagat to win, but that the weather also worked in his favour.

“The race was not bad, I am happy I won the race and surprised people who thought my compatriot will win,” he said.

Speaking at the finish point the Eko Atlantic City Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, said the competition has come to stay, just as he assured that the state government will work towards making it the best of its kind in the world.

Ambode expressed delight at the massive turn out of international and local athletes, saying that Lagos was proud to join major cities in the world to promote marathon race.

“Lagos State is glad to host athletes from different parts of the world today as we flag off the Lagos City Marathon. The last time this event held was 30 years ago. I stand here to tell you today that this event is here to stay. We are committed to sustaining this event and ensuring consistent improvement to make it one of the best marathons in the world,” he said.

Also speaking at the event, Vice President of the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF), Col. Hamad Malboum, thanked the organisers for putting up a sterling show and assured that the IAAF will partner with the state to make the marathon the most remarkable athletics event in Africa and in the world.

In the same vein, Minister of Sports, Solomon Dalung, expressed appreciation to Ambode, saying that the governor by his actions is trying to repossess the lost glory of the state.

On his part, the Managing Director of Access Bank, Mr. Herbert Wigwe, whose organisation is the major sponsor of the Lagos City Marathon, said they were proud of the opportunity to collaborate with the state government to empower the people with a sense of history.

He said his organisation will continue to collaborate with the state government to make the tournament bigger and better, adding that next year’s edition will take place on February 11, 2017.