The winner of the maiden Abuja International Marathon, Emmanuel Naibet of Kenya, on Saturday said it was delightful winning an amazing race where his compatriots swept the major honours.
Kenyan-born Ruth Jebet of Bahrain was the winner in the women’s category of the race. Bernard Sang and Ezekiel Kiprop finished as first and second runners-up to complete a clean sweep of honours by Kenyan men in the elite marathon category.
Naibet who came into the competition as the favourite with a Personal Best record of two hours, eight minutes produced a superb tactical performance to win in a time of 2:13.45. Sang and Kiprop also finished in impressive times of 2:13.49 and 2:13.51 respectively.
“I’m just out of words. So happy, really excited. I just won,” Naibet said after the race. “I don’t even know what to say. So happy that I did it here but it’s just a great day, a great race.”
“The race was amazing, with the cheers and everything. I’m just thankful.”
Kenya were also dominant in the Women’s event even though it was Kenyan-born Jebet of Bahrain (2:36.08), who claimed the women’s top prize. Kenya’s Mercy Kambai (2:38.17) finished as first runner-up, while Ethiopia’s Dida Negasa settled for the second runner-up position with a time of 2:40.16.
While Naibet smiled home with 50,000 dollars, Sang and Kiprop pocketed 40,000 dollars and 30,000 dollars, respectively.
The full marathon race, over 42.195 kilometres, had began at the Abuja City Gate and ended at the Eagles Square.
Source: Voice of Nigeria