Kenyans Dominate Again at Access Bank Lagos City Marathon
On a day death stalked at Access Holdings Plc, owners of Access Bank, the Title Sponsors of the prestigious Lagos City Marathon, taking away the group’s Group Chief Executive Officer, Herbert Wigwe, his wife and eldest son and another Nigerian, Abimbola Ogunbanjo in far away USA, Kenyan athlete, Bernard Sang, emerged champion of the gold-labeled race in 2hrs.16mins and 49secs.
Despite not matching the course record of 2hrs. 10mins 23 secs set by his compatriot, David Barmasai in 2020, Sang was still rewarded with the $30,000 prize money at stake.
Two other Kenyans, (2.16.54) and Geoffrey Birgen (2.17.44) finished second and third to pick $20,000 and $15,000 respectively.
The 42.2 km race in the current humid condition of Lagos flagged of at 6am in front of the National Stadium in Surulere and terminated at Eko Atlantic in Victoria Island. The race attracted runners from all over the world with the best top five marathoners present. In all, 81 top elite athletes participated at this 2023 edition.
Speaking after receiving his prize, Sang admitted that the hot weather condition of Lagos City made it impossible for any meaningful result to be achieved. “I am however very happy and grateful to have won the 9th edition of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon.”
Sang also admitted to have surpassed the third position he clocked at the last edition in 2023. “I have been participating in this race and never emerged as a winner. Last year, I came in third, but this year is different because I won the race,” Sang stressed.
The champion further attributed his success to his rigorous training regimen and promised to return next year to retain his title.
In the women’s race Urisa Kebene of Ethiopia prevented a total Kenyan sweep as she was the first to reach the finish line in 2hrs . 41mins . 01secs.
She peeled away from the pack with 10km to go and maintained a steady run to the finish at the Eko Atlantic City unchallenged.
Kenya’s Margaret Agai and compatriot Sharon Jemtal Cherop finished 2.41.42 and 2.47.00 respectively. They equally received same prize money as the men.