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East Africans dominate 10th Obudu mountain race


OBUDU (Cross River) – The 10th edition of the Obudu International Mountain Race ended at the Ranch Resort, Obudu, on Saturday, with Kenya’s Kemboi Hilary Kipkorir winning the men race with a time of 1:02:34 minutes.

Genet Yalew of Ethiopia won the female category of the race when she returned with the time of 1:01:20 minutes to become the first woman to win the championship back-to-back, having also won the ninth edition.

Abebe Dinkesa of Etthiopia, who came second in the ninth edition, also clocked 1:03:09 minutes, while Kiplimo Philip of Uganda clocked 1:03:19 minutes to win the second and third positions in the male categories of the race respectively.

Chessang Stella of Uganda won the second position, while Ababel Yesshaneh of Ethiopia came third respectively in the female category with a time of 1:01:31 and 1:03:03 minutes.

Nigeran nationale, Emmanuel Gyang, and Cletus Eyo won the finisher and second best finisher in the male category with 1:15:23 and1:18; 47 minutes.

Eyo, who is from Cross River, clocked the 19th position, while Gyang was 15th in the race’s ranking in the 11-kilometre race for men.

Deborah Pam from Plateau, who came in sixth in the female category with a time of 1:10:09 minutes was adjudged the best finisher in the female category of Saturday’s race.

The first three finishers in the male and female categories went home with cash prize of 50,000 dollars (N8 million), 8,000  dollars and 4,500 dollars each respectively.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Team Uganda, Team Kenya and Team Nigeria came first second and third respectively in the female category of the 6th African Nations Mountain Running Championship.

Team Uganda, Team Eritrea and Team Kenya also came first, second and third in the male edition of the championship, which was part of the bill at the 10th edition of the Obudu race.

The organisers gave awards to outstanding individuals, including the late Danny Hills, who was former President of World Mountain Running Association (WMRA) and Bruno Gozzalino, the current President of WMRA.

They also presented former governor of Cross River, Donald Duke and the current Governor, Liyel Imoke with excellence awards as initiator and those who respectively sustained the Obudu Mountain race.

While declaring the race closed, Imoke, represented by his Deputy, Efiok Cobham, promised to encourage incoming administration of Cross River to sustain the race.

He said “we have seen innovations that led to the growth of the race to an elite mountain race and we will try to ensure that the Obudu mountain race stays on even after we leave office.’’ (NAN)

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