Pamodzi Sports Marketing Nigeria Limited,organisers of the annual IAAF Bronze-Labelled Okpekpe 10km road race has appointed world renowned international road race organiser Walter Abmayr as the Elite Athlete Manager for the fourth edition of the race which holds on Saturday May 7,2016 in Okpekpe near Auchi in Edo state.
Abmayr will take care of the elite athlete management for the race which includes elite athletes recruitment,their travel and accommodation in Nigeria.
Abmayr who was in-charge of the technical organisation of the International University 10km road race in Heidelberg,Germany from 1987 to 2000 and the gold-labelled Singapore international marathon (2008-2010) will also advice on the technical organisation of the Okpekpe 10m road race.
Abmayr will be assisted by renowned Nigerian coach Tony Osheku.
‘We are delighted to have Mr Walter Abmayr work with us on this race which has,for the secod year running received international recognition as the only International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) labelled 10km road race in Africa,’said a delighted Dan Ngerem,a former president of the Athletic Federation of Nigeria (AFN) who is the chairman of the Okpekpe 10km road race.
‘Our objectives for the race are clear and one of them is to continue to have that international recognition and move up to the silver-label ranking.To do this we decided to move for a man who is well respected in the sport of athletics,especially road races,a man who was once a coach in Nigeria and who has been credited for the revival of Kenyan athletics in the 1980s,’further said Ngerem who supervised the very successful Lagos International half marathon in the early 2000s.
Ngerem also spoke on the choice of Osheku as Abmayr’s assistant. ‘Tony,without doubt is one of the best coaches Nigeria has ever produced and his record is there for all to see.He is not only a coach of high repute with bias for distance running as a former 800m/1500m runner,he is also well known in the international circuit,’ he said. Osheku led Falilat Ogunkoya to two Olympic medals,two African records in 1996,the number one ranking in the 400m in 1998 as well as the third best woman in the overall classification also in 1998.
He also led Mohammed Kwarjafa of Libya to a 400m gold at the African Athletics Championships in Nairobi,Kenya in 2010 which incdentally was Libya’s first ever medal in the history of the biennial chmpionships.