The organizer of the annual 10 km Okpekpe International road race in Edo State has disclosed that athletes from 11 counties across the globe are expected to participate in this year edition of the competition.
Mike Itemuagbor , chairman of Pamodzi Sports Marketing promoter of the road race gave the hint during a press briefing to herald the commencement of the competition at government house in Benin-City.
Itemuagbor listed the expecting countries to include Nigeria, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Eritrea, Bahrain, Germany, Turkey, Morocco and Burundi.
The annual 10 km international road race which was institutionalized by the immediate Governor of the state, Adams Oshiomhole in 2013 had been largely attended by athletes from Nigeria, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda respectively.
He added that new technological innovations such as mobile App, line tracking and transponders have been introduced into the competition.
He said the transponder would eliminate cheating among participants who may cut- corner by entering the race track through the bush.
He disclosed that the device has been internationally used and was brought into the competition by Mylaps Sports Timing for Netherland.
Itemuagbor who also added that it would be the first time mobile apps will be used for any sports competition in the country noted that the apps help spectator or stakeholders to get live information of the competition without subjecting him or herself to go through Edo State website.
In his remark , the state governor, Godwin Obaseki said he will be competing for orphanage category during the exercise billed to take place May 13, 2017.
Obaseki said the decision to run for the orphanage category was to generate fund for the “We Care Trust” pet project of the wife of the immediate past governor of the state, Iara Oshiomhole.
” I am not in the race for the prize. As you know I am the patron of the former first lady Iara Oshiomhole pet project “We Care Trust” which is dedicated to providing infrastructures, services and amenities to orphanage in Edo state.
“This year I am going to run the race to raise money for that course and I hope you would all support me,” he said.
He noted that the race apart from providing recreation also serve as a way of promoting a very healthy society.
The governor assured that the state would partner with the organiser as part of effort to promote and attract young ones to sport in schools in the state.
He however commended the organisers for recognising the contribution of former governor Adams Oshiomhole to initiate the race, he note that Oshiomhole has brought brand equity to the race by participating in all the race.