Over 81 world class elite runners who are basically Gold Label athletes, have confirmed their participation in the 9th Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, which comes up on Saturday .
Amongst the 81 elite runners, are 29 gold label women runners, which according to the General Manager of the Lagos City Marathon, Yusuf Ali, has a very rich and world class running field with the potential of unearthing a new course record come February 10.
According to the CEO of Nilayo Sports Management Limited, the owners of the Lagos City Marathon, Chief Bukola Olopade, the United Nations has also confirmed the participation of 15 refugee runners among the expected rich field of contenders.
Ali, former Africa’s Long Jump record holder for 27 years, noted that the confirmation of over 81 world class Gold Label runners, is positive thing especially as the organisers are preparing for the 10th edition of the race with the biggest prospect of uplifting the race from its Gold Label status to the Platinum Label.
“Our target is to ensure that our registered world class elite runners help propel the Lagos City Marathon to the Platinum Label. This is possible with the calibre of runners that will be on the field on February 10. If we can produce five elite runners crossing the finish line at 2 hours 8 minutes, we shall most definitely climb to the Platinum Label.
“With the presence of a former world record holder like Demis Kipmeto on 2 hours 02 minutes and 57 seconds, Kelkile Gezahegan (Ethiopia) on 2hours 05 minutes and 56 seconds, Kiptoo Edwin on 2hours 06 minutes and 52 seconds and female runners like Valary Jemeli (Kenya) on 2 hours 19minutes, there is a huge possibility that the status of the Lagos City Marathon will change at the end of this race on Saturday,” Alli noted.
He further disclosed that, the 9th Lagos City Marathon will be used to select qualifiers for the next edition of the Olympic Games, Paris 2024.
He stressed the 9th Access Bank Lagos City Marathon will be a great race by all standards, this year. He added that, air quality control will be checked by the World Athletics among other things done in top world class marathon races across the world.